Power Electronics

Market Report Forecasts Double-Digit Growth For Photovoltaics

A market research report from BCC Research projects that the global market for photovoltaics (PV) will rise from $12.9 billion in 2007 to over $32.3 billion by 2012, which represents a compound average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.9%. The report, “Photovoltaics: Global Markets & Technologies,” forecasts an even higher CAGR—30%— for worldwide shipments of PV cells/modules. These shipments are expected to reach 2,875.1 MW in 2007 increasing to 13,724.4 MW by 2013 (see the table).

According to BCC Research, the rapid growth of photovoltaics will be driven by the global demand for energy of all kinds, the potential problems of climate change, the renewable features of solar energy and improvements in PV technology and materials. PV will increasingly be made part of industrial and living structures.

Silicon technology, which accounted for about 89% of the market in 2007, will continue to dominate through the end of our forecast period, predicts the Wellesley, Mass.-based market research firm. In particular, multicrystalline silicon will grow at a 285% rate through 2013. Recent improvements in this traditional technology and its reliability will keep it in the forefront, says the firm, but silicon will represent only 79% of the market by 2013.

In addition, BCC Research reports that thin films, while only 10% of the market currently, will grow at a 45% rate through 2013. Improvements in efficiencies and the use of these materials on flexible substrates will account for their rapid growth. As a result, the firm forecasts that thin films will account for almost 19% of the PV market by 2013.

New technologies, such as nanostructured thin films and silicon and dye-sensitized solar cells, accounted for just under 0.5% of the market in 2007 says BCC Research. Nevertheless, the firm predicts that these technologies will grow at a 34% rate to reach 19.2 MW in 2008 and then exhibit 50% annual growth to achieve 145.7 MW by 2013. The firm explains that research and development efforts on these new materials have been constant and the results are just now starting to appear.

Table. Global photovoltaic market through 2013 (Courtesy of Source: BCC Research)

Photovoltaic Technology

2007

2008

CAGR%
07-08

2013

CAGR%
08-13

Module shipments (MW)

2,875.1

3,697.3

28.6

13,724.4

30.0

Shipment value $ millions)

12,908.8

16,083.3

24.5

32,252.3

14.9

Module materials
($ millions)

8,337.8

10,352.4

24.1

17,155.5

10.6

A copy of the report (EGY014F) is available in PDF for $4850. For more information, see www.bccresearch.com, call 866-285-7215, or email [email protected].

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