Thin Film Photovoltaic Market Analysis and Demand with Forecast Overview To 2030

There is an increase in the demand for thin film PVs with rise in awareness toward boosting renewable energy (RE), especially solar energy, which is cleaner, sustainable and safer to use. The thin film Photovoltaics market is fuelled by the measures adopted by the countries to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and thereby decrease their carbon footprints by the means of increasing the share of renewables in their energy mix. This drives the demand for solar PVs, both traditional c-Si PVs as well as thin film PVs. Although the share of thin film PV is comparatively lower than that of traditional C-Si PVs due to their lower efficiency, a lot of research & development is being done to increase the efficiency and deploy ability of the thin film PVs.

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Top Impacting Factors

  • Nations are constantly growing the pace to come across their CO2 decrement goals while addressing their energy requirements. Therefore, the demand for solar energy, by the means of thin-film solar modules is intensifying at a substantial rate around the world, especially in regions like Europe, therefore certainly impacting the thin film module market progress worldwide.
  • Internationally, the photovoltaic (PV) solar cells established on cadmium telluride (CdTe) signify the leading fragment of commercial thin-film module manufacture as it is a lower-cost substitute to orthodox silicon-based technologies as cadmium can be produced as a byproduct of mining, smelting, and refining of zinc, lead, and copper.
  • The installation procedure of thin-film solar panels is also less complex and takes littler efforts than the traditional silicon panels. This is due to the fact that the thin-film solar panels are more flexible and lightweight compared to the traditional ones and hence, can be installed in the spaces where traditional silicon solar panels cannot be mounted. Furthermore, thin-film modules are prepared from thin-film solar cells which comprise a considerably smaller amount of silicon which results in rarer secretions throughout their fabrication as matched to ordinary solar modules.
  • On the other hand, as thin-film panels need a greater space than other kinds of solar PV modules. The size of the solar power generation system adversely disturbs the cost-effectiveness of the thin-film PV module methods, as the panel output losses balance the reduced amount of installation cost due to poorer efficiencies. This issue, in turn, is anticipated to hamper the development of the market.

Market Trends

  • New product launches to flourish the market: In December 2019, NICE Solar Energy GmbH, a German-Chinese joint venture, accomplished a novel world-record level of efficiency of 17.6% for CIGS thin-film solar modules.
  • In September 2019, the NICE Solar Energy, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wurttemberg (ZSW) came together in order to work on the Capitano project. The objective of this venture is to conglomerate perovskite semiconductor-based thin-film solar modules with semiconductors made of CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, and selenium). This arrangement can end in efficient tandem solar cells with all the benefits of thin-film technology and an efficiency factor of about 30%.

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Key Market Players

  • Antec Solar GmbH
  • ECD
  • Golden Photon Inc.
  • JA solar Co. Ltd
  • Jinko Solar
  • Kaneka Corporation
  • Kyocera Corporation
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
  • NanoPV Solar Inc.
  • Panasonic Corporation
  • ReneSola Co. Ltd.
  • Sharp Corporation
  • Siemens AG
  • Solar Cells Inc
  • Solarex MD
  • Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd
  • Trina Solar
  • United Solar Energy.

COVID-19 Impact analysis

The COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the growth of the thin film photovoltaic market. This is due to the halts or cancellation of the solar power installation projects. The disruption in the supply chain has also had a negative impact on the thin film photovoltaics as the productions were intermittent or postponed due to unavailability of the raw materials at certain manufacturing plants due to the imposed lockdowns during the pandemic. On the other hand, the demand for solar power was also affected as the industrial as well as commercial segments of the market were shut down due to the mandatory trade and travel restrictions amid lockdowns. 

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