According to a new report from Lux Research, the global market for photovoltaic materials is expected to grow 52% to $27.2 billion, up from $17.8 billion in 2012. As PV supply and demand come back into balance in 2015, margins will steadily improve and create new opportunities for innovative materials developers, the report says.
Metals, including polysilicon, metallization pastes and metallic absorber materials in CIGS, will be the biggest segment at $12.8 billion as geographically diverse demand offers rare opportunities for innovation and product differentiation, Lux Research says. Polysilicon alone is projected to be a $6 billion market, based on global crystalline silicon module demand.
‘Differentiated materials that enable high cell or module efficiencies or longer lifetime will be able to earn a premium and cash in on the growing demand,’ says Fatima Toor, a Lux Research analyst and the lead author of the report. ‘In addition, the push towards improved quality will lead to materials innovations that not only drive down the [dollars per watt], but also the [dollars per kilowatt hour], enabling sustainable growth of global PV demand.’
Another recent report from Lux Research has forecast the solar sector's ‘imminent’ return to profitability.