Photovoltaics is still a niche technology, accounting for a low proportion of electricity generation. Combining an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) with the analytic hier archy process, we discuss the prospects and challenges relating to photovoltaics in Austria, when attempting to move from a niche level to a regime level change in energy transition. In carrying out this hybrid method, a set of pre-defined SWOT factors were judged by experts by means of pairwise comparisons. As results reveal, strengths and opportunities outweigh weaknesses and threats. According to the experts, financial and technological considerations dominate over environmental and social issues. Hence, characteristics such as rapid reduction in module costs, technological progress and low economies of scale imply that significant promise may be assigned to photovoltaics in terms of its expected contribution to the transformation of our energy system.