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BIPV glass market sets off towards a $2.7 billion climb

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:BIPV? glass? NanoMarkets?

From this year's $823 million, building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) glass shipments are expected to return $2.7 billion by 2019 and surpass 7.6 million square metres by 2021, according to NanoMarkets.

The BIPV glass sector has been dominated by prestige buildings, which will account for 90 per cent of BIPV glass revenues in 2014. However, BIPV glass is a key enabling technology for zero net energy buildings which are expected to expand rapidly due to the growing number of mandates in both the US and EU. For example, EU Directives demand zero energy capability for all buildings by 2021. As a result, BIPV glass for zero net energy buildings will reach $1.1 billion by 2019 compared with $30 million today.

Thin-film PV, DSC and OPV are often touted as technologies that will revolutionise BIPV glass because of their light weight, flexibility and potentially low cost. However, NanoMarkets contends that the poor business conditions that have beset the whole solar industry for the past three years have set back the development of less conventional PV technologies. As a result crystalline silicon will continue to dominate the BIPV glass sector until after 2019. The only other solar material that is expected to do reasonably well in the BIPV glass sector during the forecasting period is CIGS, which will reach around $245 million in revenue by 2019.

NanoMarkets believes that for now BIPV glass remains mostly a niche sector consisting of highly customised solutions; constructed on site or near to the site. Today, 90 per cent of BIPV glass revenues come from customised projects. However, by 2019 this share will have declined to 60 per cent as semi-assembled BIPV glass products come onto the market that can be easily be integrated into building fabrics without specialised expertise.

- Paul Buckley
??EE Times Europe

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