Renewables, Solar

Report forecasts soaring PV market

1 March 2005 – According to a soon-to-be-released report on photovoltaic technologies from Business Communications Company, total shipments of photovoltaic (PV) modules are estimated at 973.1 MW in 2004 and are expected to rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 23.4 per cent to reach 2783.1 MW by 2009.

Silicon technology, which accounted for approximately 90 per cent of the PV market in 2003, will continue to dominate through the end of our forecast period. Multicrystalline silicon will represent the highest volume of silicon technology with shipments projected to grow at a 24.8 per cent AAGR to reach 1778 MW by 2009. Single crystal shipments will grow at an average annual rate of 22.9 per cent to reach 830.8 MW by 2009.

Thin films, which represent an experiment in manufacturing lower cost PV modules, have slipped to less than 10 per cent of the market. Recent improvements in their efficiency and the advent of flexible substrates will provide this technology with continued growth. Thin film PV technology accounted for 87.6 MW by 2004 and will grow at an AAGR of 13.4 per cent to reach 154.6 MW by 2009.

New technologies, such as dye-sensitized solar cells and modules made by nanotechnology processes, will appear for commercial consumption by 2005. These revolutionary technologies are projected to account for 6.5 MW of PV power by the end of 2005 and grow at an average annual rate of 30.1 per cent to reach 19.7 MW by 2009. Their flexibility and lower cost will help propel their growth into the next decade.

The value of worldwide shipments of modules was estimated at $4.7bn in 2004. Future reductions in cost will dampen the growth of value at an AAGR of 11.7 per cent, and the market will account for $8.2bn by 2009. Economies of scale and improved production methods will account for the lower rate of growth in the value of PV shipments over our forecast period. The value of module materials was estimated at $2,919.3m in 2004. Materials for cells and modules will grow at an average annual rate of 12 per cent to reach $5,148.7m by 2009.

The report, reference number RE-038V is issued by Business Communications Company, 25 Van Zant Street, Norwalk, CT 06855, Telephone: (203) 853-4266; ext. 309, Email: [email protected]