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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions > Solar Energy

The thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV) market is forecast to grow 7x by 2015

Thin film solar is booming...

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solar thin film photovoltaic tfpv pv The world thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV) market is forecast to reach $7.2 billion by 2015, compared to just over $1.0 billion today, according to a new report that is being released this week by NanoMarkets LC, an industry analyst firm based here. Additional details are available on the firm's website at

The market is being driven by the inherent advantages of TFPV including low cost, low weight, and the ability to manufacture 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.

Some of the findings of the thin film photo voltaic industry report include:

  • Because worldwide energy prices are rising fast and PV prices are falling fast, PV will carve off a big slice of the energy market and could eventually account for as much as 20 percent of the U.S. market’s energy needs. Because TFPV costs less than conventional PV, TFPV is most likely to take off first. Just a few years ago, TFPV was only five percent of the entire PV market, but it is expected to account for 35 percent of the photovoltaics market by 2015. PV also offers predictable pricing, something that fossil fuels cannot do.
  • Conventional PV is expensive to make. By contrast TFPV can be manufactured using simple printing or other R2R machines; the value of printed TFPV is expected to reach just over $3.0 billion by 2015. Printing PV has the potential for lowering capital costs by as much as 75 percent, reducing waste and increasing throughput.
  • Since TFPV is much lighter than conventional PV and can be more easily applied to curved and non-planar surfaces, TFPV is easier to install on roofs and walls. Where a lot of panels need to be installed on a roof, using TF PV reduces the likelihood that the roof will have to be specially reinforced. TFPV also enables windows that double as PV panels, making PV much more practical for buildings large and small.
  • PV based on organic materials offers hope for the future. Organic PV is more ecologically friendly than other PV approaches. Efficiencies of organic PV are improving rapidly and new cell architectures promise that the performance of organic PV devices could come close to or possibly even exceed those of their purely inorganic counterparts. By 2015 we expect shipments of organic PV to be around 500 MW.

About the report:

The new NanoMarkets report provides a complete analysis of the commercial opportunities for amorphous silicon, CIS/CIGS, CdTe and organic/hybrid TFPV markets. It also examines the role that new encapsulation materials and transparent conductors and silicon inks will have on this market. Applications for TF PV covered include large projects and utilities, commercial and industrial buildings, consumer electronics and military and emergency services. The report also includes detailed eight-year forecasts (in dollar and peak MW terms) of these markets as well as profiles of all the leading firms developing and marketing this emerging technology and an assessment of the impact of government funding and subsidies in the U.S. Europe and Japan on TFPV on.

Among the firms discussed in the report are Antec Solar, AVA Tech, BASF, Bosch, CDT, DayStar, Dow Corning, EPV, FEE, First Solar, Fuji Electric, Flexcell, G24i, Global Photonic Energy, Global Solar, Heliatek, HelioVolt, Honda, Innovalight, International Solar Electric Technologies, JNSOLAR, Kaneka, Konarka, Matsushita, Miasolé, Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Nanosolar, PowerFilm, Sanyo, Schott Solar, Sharp, Shell Solar, Showa Shell, Seiko Epson, Sinonar, Solar Cells, Sulfurcell, Sumitomo, Sunset Energietechnik, Symmorphix, Terra Solar, Uni-Solar and Würtz Solar.

About NanoMarkets:

NanoMarkets tracks and analyzes emerging market opportunities in electronics created by developments in advanced materials. The firm has published numerous reports related to organic, thin film and printable electronics materials and applications. The firm also publishes a blog found at

SOURCE: NanoMarkets LC

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