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Thin-film solar cells to generate 26GW of power by 2015

Posted: 31 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:thin-film solar cell industry? thin-film photovoltaics? solar cells?

According to NanoMarkets, the thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV) market will produce 26GW by 2015, generating over $20 billion in revenues. Driving this growth rate is the rapid deployment of photovoltaics of all kinds and the low cost, flexibility and manufacturing advantages associated with TFPV compared with the now dominant crystalline silicon PV. By 2015, NanoMarkets expects that TFPV will account for over half of the world's production of PV. This is according to NanoMarkets' report, "Thin Film Photovoltaics Markets: 2008 and Beyond."

The recent success of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells is likely to continue and by 2015, NanoMarkets expects that this will be the single largest segment of the TFPV market considered by active material with $8.7 billion in revenues. CdTe has many advantages such as a high optical absorption coefficient and a bandgap that has been described as close to perfect for PV. Also, many of the environmental concerns that have been associated with CdTe in the past seem to be dissipating.

Despite higher price points and outstanding manufacturing challenges, CIS/CIGS is still the star of the TFPV world. The technology promises to combine all the advantages of thin film with higher conversion efficiencies approaching those of conventional crystalline PV. NanoMarkets believes that the CIS/CIGS sector will hit almost $5 billion in revenues by 2015.

Because of its low cost, low weight and ability to be fabricated onto flexible substrates TFPV is likely to be highly preferred for residential applications over conventional PV. NanoMarkets expects a $2.3 billion market for the residential TFPV market by 2015.

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