Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets announces the release of its latest report on Building Integrated Photovoltaics Market, "BIPV Glass Markets 2012." In the report NanoMarkets estimates that the total market for BIPV glass will reach $6.4 billion (USD) in revenues in 2016 compared to $1.5 billion in 2012.
The report analyzes the opportunities for BIPV glass products using c-Si, thin-film and OPV/DSC materials and provides eight-year forecasts in terms of MW and square footage shipped as well as forecasts of revenue generated. The report also contains an extensive discussion of the product evolution of BIPV glass and a forecast of each product type.
The report also discusses the strategies of some of the important suppliers of BIPV glass panels including, Atlantis Energy, Dyesol, Ertex, Focus Materials, Mage Sunovation, Onyx, Pilkington, Pythagoras, Schott, Sharp, Schuco, Suntech, Wuerth and others. The report also contains an analysis of the firms that NanoMarkets believes will be the most influential in the BIPV glass market.
From the Report
Today's BIPV glass provides transparency well below 50 percent and the initial markets for BIPV glass are to be found in skylights, facades, spandrels, curtain walls and atrium roofing where high levels of transparency are not required. However, the NanoMarkets report claims that by improving on the current level of transparency, manufacturers of BIPV glass may be able to expand their addressable markets. NanoMarkets believes that one way that improved transparency can be achieved is through new absorber materials such as very thin layers of CIGS or advanced dye sensitized cells (DSC) using more transparent dyes. Another approach is to use advanced optics to enable the positioning of the PV panels so that they don't block sunlight to the same degree as in conventional BIPV glass panels.
A similar evolution is expected to occur in the nature of the BIPV glass products themselves. Currently, all BIPV glass is highly customized to the needs of specific projects. However, as BIPV glass shifts from being used almost exclusively used in prestige building projects to the broader commercial construction market, off-the-the-shelf products will have to be developed that can be sold through large construction firms and PV systems integrators. While the first generation of such off-the-shelf products are likely to embody quite similar technology to that use today, NanoMarkets believes that future generations of BIPV glass products will be characterized by monolithic integration and the incorporation of lighting, dimming and self-cleaning capabilities.
There may be more than 20 firms playing an active role in the developing the BIPV glass market today, but a handful of firms stand out as "firms to watch." For example, Mage Sunovation and Dyesol have shown innovations on the materials front, while Pythagoras has demonstrated how optics can be used to improve BIPV glass performance. The report also notes that Suntech, the largest PV panel maker in the world, has dabbled in this area and may have the ability to transform the BIPV glass market by applying the Chinese style economics that currently dominates the conventional PV sector.