The global solar energy market is projected to more than double to reach $70 billion by 2013, according to a new report from SRI Consulting (SRIC).
As promising new technologies are being developed to drive this renewable energy source forward, oil-price fluctuations and global-warming concerns have sparked a concentrated interest in promoting solar energy applications, the company says.
The first- and second-generation photovoltaic cells require different forms of silicon, rare transition metals and metalloid elements. As a result of increased silicon costs, the third- and fourth-generation technologies are focusing on organic polymers or nanomaterials and the lower manufacturing costs they offer.
‘Developments in organic photovoltaic technology have made significant improvements in recent years, with cell efficiencies reaching over five percent,’ says Bob Davenport, director of the Safe and Sustainable Chemicals series at SRIC. ‘However, silicon-based cells in the commercial photovoltaic industry are still the predominant technology, because of higher efficiencies reaching over 25 percent.’
The SRIC report explores new applications where solar energy is being applied. Many opportunities exist for companies in the solar energy area, from material research to manufacturing, where breakthrough developments are being made at a surprising rate, SRIC says. The developments in organic manufacturing pose promising synergies with the printed electronics industry.
Additional information about the report is available at www.sriconsulting.com.
SOURCE: SRI Consulting