NanoMarkets, a leading provider of market research in the thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV) space, has just published its latest report on the markets for materials sold for TFPV applications.
According to the report "Thin-Film Photovoltaics Materials Markets, 2011 and Beyond," despite the end of the silicon shortage and ongoing economic woes, the TFPV materials markets will generate $5.9 billion ($US) in 2016 compared to $2.1 billion in 2011.
The report is part of NanoMarkets ongoing coverage of thin-film and organic PV markets and includes its latest projections on material sales for thin-film silicon (TF Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe) and CIGS PV.
NanoMarkets believes that, despite its maturity, TF Si PV will retain its competitiveness as this technology shifts towards using tandem cells using microcrystalline silicon. Key beneficiaries of this shift will be silane suppliers. Revenues from TF Si PV absorber materials will reach approximately $975 million by 2016.
However, also by 2016 the largest segment of the TFPV material sector will be CdTe absorber materials, which, by then, will reach $1.6 billion. This represents an important opportunity for suppliers of CdTe materials to qualify as a supplier to the dominant CdTe panel maker, First Solar, who is increasingly in need of more materials sources. The growing use of tellurium also presents an opportunity for companies in the copper and lead refining industry, since tellurium is primarily a byproduct of refining these ores.
Despite the disappointments of the past, NanoMarkets sees product and manufacturing announcements over the past year as beginning to vindicate the CIGS story. Dow's CIGS based BIPV product and TSMC's entry into the CIGS area promises a better future for CIGS. As a result, absorber materials sold into this space are expected to reach around $610 million by 2016. Where NanoMarkets sees hope in the CIGS space is in electrodeposition which it says is well matched to improving the cost performance of CIGS in a "low demand" economy.
About the report:
This report analyzes and quantifies the opportunities for materials in the TFPV space. In addition to providing eight-year forecasts of the core absorber materials, it also forecasts electrode, substrates and encapsulant markets. In addition, the report provides detailed profiles of the major firms influencing this space including: 5N Plus, Air Liquide, American Elements, Apollo Solar Energy, Applied Materials, Dow Corning, DuPont, Evonik, Indium Corporation, Linde, Oerlikon, Praxair, Redlen, Sputtering Materials, Ulvac, Umicore and Voltaix.