Thin Film Photovoltaics Market

Thin Film Photovoltaics Market, 2017 - 2030

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Thin Film Photovoltaics Market Overview

The renewable energy industry has witnessed an unprecedented growth in the last few years, owing to the increasing energy demand and concerted efforts to prevent environmental damage. Factors, such as increasing population, advances in technology, rapid industrialization in emerging markets (such as China and India), rising standard of living, and globalization are driving the global demand. In fact, the global economy is predicted to grow three folds between now and 2050; this is anticipated to create a significant increase in demand for energy around the world. It is well known that, owing to the detrimental effects of non-renewable sources on the environment, the focus has shifted towards renewable energy sources. Amongst the available energy sources, non-renewables (including fossil fuels and nuclear energy) have a share of about 76.3% and renewables have a share of about 23.7%, in global electricity production. The Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP), the first ever legally binding global climate deal, was signed by 195 countries in 2015, where it was decided to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5C till the year 2100, by reducing carbon emissions. Even though quite recently, the US has decided to pull out of the agreement, other countries, such as China and India, are still optimistic about the success of the agreement.

As a result of the aforementioned developments, there has been a rapid surge in installation of solar photovoltaics. In 2017 alone, about 74 GW of solar photovoltaics (PV) were installed across the globe, taking the cumulative installed solar PV capacity to over 300 GW. More growth is predicted in the future; the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has estimated that the global photovoltaic installations will reach between 1,760 GW and 2,500 GW by 2030. Historically, crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic cells have dominated the solar PV market, occupying a share of about 90%. However, it is believed that the cost reduction potential, as well as efficiency increase potential in case of silicon based photovoltaic modules are limited. Therefore, the industry’s focus is gradually shifting towards the use of thin film photovoltaic technologies. The growth of these technologies is also being driven by newer applications of solar panels, such as for building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), rooftops / facades and applications that demand more flexibility, as well as low angle installations. As the demand for solar PV continues to rise at a steady pace, we are optimistic about the future of the thin film PV industry.

Scope of the Report

The Thin Film Photovoltaics Market, 2017-2030 report provides a comprehensive analysis of the current market landscape and a detailed future outlook of the thin film photovoltaics (PV) industry. As the global economy aims for energy security, renewable energy sources, such as solar power, are expected to play a pivotal role. In 2015, the solar energy sector attracted 56% of the total new investments (USD 286 billion) that were made in the renewable power and fuels industry. As a result of heavy funding and significant government support (in the form of subsidies), the prices of solar energy have plummeted by over 60% in the last 10 years.

Our study encompasses the various thin film photovoltaic technologies that are currently available in the market, such as cadmium telluride (CdTe), copper indium selenide / gallium selenide (CIS / CIGS) and amorphous silicon (a-Si). We expect that, as this generation of thin film photovoltaic technologies matures, they are likely to benefit from economies of scale, resulting in further cost reductions. Subsequently, these technologies are likely to become one of the primary drivers behind the growth of the solar PV industry. In addition to aforementioned technologies, next generation thin film photovoltaic technologies, such as dye sensitized solar cells (DSCs), organic PV, and perovskite PV, are already being developed. These next generation thin film photovoltaic technologies are anticipated to gain more importance in the long term as they are believed to be superior in terms of energy generation capacity as well as flexibility.

The study provides a deep dive into the developments that are impacting the current solar energy generation industry and are likely to drive significant changes in the long term. We were able to identify over 80 industry stakeholders, distributed across the three major thin film photovoltaic technologies. In addition to other elements, the study elaborates on the following:

  • The current status of the market with respect to key players / technologies along with information on a company’s business model (whether it is focused on products or services or technology licensing or a combination of these), scale of operation (small, medium or large), substrate used, deposition process involved, cell / module capacity, conversion efficiency achieved, and geographical location of the companies.
  • Comprehensive profiles of some of the key players across each type of thin film photovoltaic technologies, covering the current focus of the companies, details on their specific thin film PV technology, products and services, and associated recent developments & future outlooks.
  • The impact of venture capital funding in this area. We believe that investments from private investors is a key enabler that is likely to drive significant developments in this industry in the long term. Investments from external sources generally enable stakeholders in the industry to scale-up their operations and develop / acquire the necessary technologies to carry out production at larger scales. This usually results in significant reductions in cost per unit.
  • Next generation thin film PV technologies, such as dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), organic PV, and perovskite PV, with details on the key technologies involved, industry players focused in the area, current trends in the market, as well as future prospects.
  • A high level patent analysis to provide an overview of how the industry is evolving from the R&D perspective. For this analysis, we looked at the patents that have been granted to various players in the last five years, across the current and next generation thin film PV technologies.
  • Potential future growth in the thin film PV industry (both in terms of installed capacity and expected revenue generation) across the currently available technologies (CdTe, CIGS and a-Si). We have taken into account the overall installation cost of thin film PV modules to estimate future revenues. The report provides a comprehensive market forecast (till 2030) for the global, as well as the current top 10 regional solar PV markets, which includes the US, EU5 and Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India, and Japan), in terms of installed capacity. It also includes a segmentation by applications, distributed by small scale (such as consumer electronics), medium scale (such as residential rooftops and building facades) and large scale (such as solar parks, farms, plants), in terms of installed capacity and the potential revenues.

The opinions and insights presented in this study were influenced by discussions conducted with several key players in this domain. The report features detailed transcripts of interviews held with Andreas Zimmerman (Owner, Sunplugged), Dieter Manz (Founder and CEO, Manz), Rombout Swanborn (Chairman, HyET Solar), Edward Hamers (CTO, HyET Solar) and Robin Quax (Production Engineer, HyET Solar).

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