The worldwide solar energy market has experienced dramatic change in the past few years, as the industry has shifted from a supply-driven business with unsustainably high module selling prices to demand-driven with cost per watt and module efficiency becoming the primary factors that are determining market winners. A recent report from Pike Research anticipates a similar shift in terms of industry dynamics for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and building-applied photovoltaics (BAPV). The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that, driven mainly by lower costs, the global BIPV market will see strong growth in the coming years, with annual wholesale revenues rising from $744 million in 2010 to nearly $4 billion in 2016, under a base case scenario. A more aggressive growth forecast contemplates that the BIPV market could reach $5.8 billion during the same period.
"The cost per watt for BIPV is declining quickly, and this trend will accelerate demand for building-integrated and building-applied solar products," says senior analyst Peter Asmus. "We expect that the cost per watt for BIPV/BAPV will likely reach $2.50 per watt by 2016. In addition, the aesthetics of BIPV/BAPV are improving, and there are now solar tiles and shingles that blend into rooftops and crystalline-silicon (c-Si) solar panels in various shapes, sizes, colors, transparencies, and patterns that appear to seamlessly blend into a building's structure."
Asmus adds that efficiency improvements in both c-Si and flexible thin-film panels and shingles (led by CIGS panels) have improved BIPV/BAPV project return and payback periods. Moreover, the analyst believes that incremental efficiency improvements are likely to continue through 2016. These enhancements will inspire normal building materials suppliers, and eventually common residential market retailers, to market BIPV/BAPV solar products at an increasing scale.
Pike Research anticipates that the European Union (primarily Germany and France) will continue to lead the BIPV/BAPV market in terms of megawatts installed per year; however, this region will decrease in market share - from 55% in 2009 to 32% in 2016 - as demand surges in Asia Pacific and North America. By 2016, the firm expects that demand in Asia will exceed that of Europe, topping 800 megawatts per year.
Pike Research's report, "Building-Integrated Photovoltaics", examines the expanding global markets for BIPV and BAPV including a comprehensive analysis of demand drivers and economics, technology issues, and key industry players. The report includes base case and upside scenario forecasts for BIPV/BAPV installed capacity by world region and technology, along with forecasts of wholesale market revenues through 2016.
source: Pike Research