By Isabella Kaminski
The report by industry analyst NanoMarkets, Building Integrated Photovoltaics Markets 2011, predicts that the building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products market will exceed US$11 billion (£6.7bn) in revenues by 2016, up from over US$2bn in 2011. It says installed BIPV capacity could experience a ten-fold increase over the same period, growing from 343 MW in 2011 to over 3.6 GW in 2016.
According to NanoMarkets, the BIPV market is enjoying new credibility due to the well-publicised and growing involvement of Dow Chemical in the industry.
The report says that the building products industry continues to face challenges in construction starts and new builds while the solar industry is facing a reduction in the subsidies that have been crucial to the industry’s fortunes. The BIPV market offers both sets of suppliers a way of developing new revenue opportunities.
Product-wise, the market is said to be maturing with ‘second generation’ BIPV designed specifically for easy integration with buildings. According to the report, BIPV glass could generate over US$6.4bn in revenue in 2016 compared to US$1.17bn in 2011. Meanwhile, tiles and floating panels could create nearly US$3bn compared to US$691 million in 2011, and flexible BIPV products could account for slightly over US$1.9bn compared to US$153m in 2011.
The report also predicts that crystalline silicon (c-si) will continue to hold a large share of the BIPV market for the coming decade but that thin-film photovoltaic (TFPV) also has potential; in particular, several CIGS-based BIPV products have recently passed regulatory code tests and are moving through traditional distribution channels this year.