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NanoMarkets: TFPV market to grow seven-fold by 2015

Posted: 09 Aug 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:thin-film photovoltaics  R2R machines  ecologically friendly 

The world thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV) market is forecast to reach Rs.29,383.72 crore ($7.2 billion) by 2015, compared to just over Rs.4,081.07 crore ($1.0 billion) today, according to a new report from NanoMarkets LC, an industry analyst firm.

The market is being driven by the inherent advantages of TFPV including low cost, low weight, and the ability to manufacture them on flexible substrates and embed solar power capabilities into walls, roofs and even windows. Unlike more conventional PV that uses crystalline silicon, TFPV also has the ability to operate under low light conditions. The report notes that to support the growing demand for TFPV, most manufacturers are ramping up production capacity and several including First Solar, Fuji Electric, Nanosolar, Sanyo, Uni-Solar and G24i, are building plants with more than 100 MW in capacity.

The report expects that due to rapid rise of worldwide energy prices and rapid fall of PV prices, PV will carve off a big slice of the energy market and could eventually account for as much as 20 percent of the U.S. market's energy needs. Because TFPV costs less than conventional PV, TFPV is most likely to take off first. TFPV, which occupied only five percent of the entire PV market, is expected to account for 35 percent of the photovoltaics market by 2015. Applications for TFPV include large projects and utilities, commercial and industrial buildings, consumer electronics and military and emergency.

In contrast to conventional PV, TFPV can be manufactured using simple printing or other R2R machines; the value of printed TFPV is expected to reach just over Rs.12,243.22 crore ($3.0 billion) by 2015. Printing PV has the potential for lowering capital costs by as much as 75 percent, reducing waste and increasing throughput.

The fact that TFPV is also much lighter than conventional PV and can be more easily applied to curved and non-planar surfaces, TFPV is easier to install on roofs and walls. TFPV is also enabling windows that double as PV panels, making PV much more practical for buildings large and small.

The analyst firm found PV based on organic materials to be more ecologically friendly than other PV approaches. Efficiencies of organic PV are also improving rapidly and new cell architectures promise that the performance of organic PV devices could come close to or possibly even exceed those of their purely inorganic counterparts. By 2015 NanoMarkets expects shipments of organic PV to reach 500 MW.

NanoMarkets new report provides a complete analysis of the commercial opportunities for amorphous silicon, CIS/CIGS, CdTe and organic/hybrid TFPV markets. It also examines the role that new encapsulation materials and transparent conductors and silicon inks will have on this market. The report also includes an assessment of the impact of TFPV on government funding and subsidies in the U.S. Europe and Japan.

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