Both the building industry – which is still plagued by low housing starts and new builds – and the global solar market – which is facing severe reductions in financial subsidies in key markets – have been under stress in recent years. According to a new report from Pike Research, the emergent market for building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) offers a new way to develop revenue streams for these two industries.
Pike Research predicts that the total capacity of BIPV systems worldwide will grow from just over 400 MW in 2012 to 2,250 MW in 2017 – a more than five-fold increase. The annual value of the BIPV market will quadruple over the next five years, growing from $606 million in 2012 to more than $2.4 billion in 2017.
‘The growing availability of energy-efficient, flexible and transparent solar materials is transforming the way that architects and building engineers view and use photovoltaic systems,’ says research director Kerry-Ann Adamson.
‘In the future, BIPV will no longer be confined to spandrel or overhead applications,’ she continues. ‘Rather, the entire building envelope will be able to put it to use, allowing the structure to produce its own power and feed additional power into the grid system.’
Going into 2013, the BIPV market will open up more as it rebounds from the solar depression and several long-term projects hit the market, according to the report. An increasing number of players in the supply chain are working together to provide solutions for the entire building envelope.
Among the most important next steps for the industry is the development of finished solar modules made by continuous production from PV rolls, Pike Research adds. Developing the ability to print the PV coating directly onto steel roof cladding will enable the modules to be produced in large volumes, cost-effectively.