The world thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV) market is forecast to reach $7.2 billion by 2015, compared to just over $1 billion today, according to a new report from NanoMarkets LC, an industry analyst firm based in Glens Falls, Va.
The NanoMarkets report finds that the TFPV market is being driven by 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 also states that TFPV was only 5% of the entire PV market a few years ago, but is expected to account for 35% of the market by 2015. It also points out that because TFPV can be manufactured using simple printing or other R2R machines, the value of printed TFPV is expected to reach just over $3 billion by 2015.
Furthermore, the report predicts that organic PV solutions are improving to the point where they can match or surpass their purely inorganic counterparts. By 2015, NanoMarkets expects shipments of organic PV to reach 500 MW.