It is a diffused opinion that the possibility for PV energy to gain a prominent role in the scenario of energy sources at a worldwide level is strictly linked, among other factors, to the increase of module efficiency, as this is believed to directly result in a net reduction of costs. To verify this hypothesis, we analyzed the costs of small-medium PV plant installations, by separating the costs in power-related, area-related, and fixed costs, noting that the efficiency of modules only enters in the determination of area-related costs. We obtained that high efficiency is convenient only in the optimistic scenario of very moderate cost increase with efficiency. The results are valid for the case of residential, roof installed PV plants.
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