The tunable and amazing properties of plasmonic nanostructures have received significant attentions in the fields of solar energy conversion. Plasmonic nanostructures provide pathways to directly convert solar energy into electric energy by hot-carrier generation. They can also serve as economical electrodes for high-efficient carrier collection. Both have promising potential for manufacturing new generation solar cells. Here, we review recent advances in plasmonic nanostructures for electronic designs of photovoltaic devices and specially focus on plasmonic hot-carrier photovoltaic architectures and plasmonic electrode structures. Technical challenges toward low-cost and high-performance plasmonics-based solar cells are also discussed.