The market for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) will grow more than tenfold by 2016, approaching 2.4 gigawatts (GW) worldwide--compared to just 215 megawatts (MW) in 2009--according to a new analysis.
Historically, BIPV and building-applied photovoltaics (BAPV) have been relegated to a niche market because solar modules and panels have simply cost too much and have been too difficult to install on residential and commercial roofs as well as building walls, windows, and other parts of the building structure. Additionally, production of BIPV products with appealing aesthetics has been limited. However, that is all beginning to change, according to Pike Research. The analyst firm forecasts that growth in the market will generate annual wholesale revenues of $4 billion by 2016, under a base case scenario. "Rapidly falling cost per watt will be a major driver of BIPV and BAPV installations in the coming years," says senior analyst Dave Cavanaugh. "In addition, rooftop installations are becoming much easier with the market entry of new, high-efficiency CIGS-technology panels and shingles. At the same time, the aesthetic appeal of BIPV and BAPV is improving with the introduction of solar crystalline-silicon modules and thin film tiles and shingles that blend into building facades, atria and rooftops." Cavanaugh adds that other key growth drivers include newly-instituted generous BIPV/BAPV feed-in tariffs in countries such as Italy, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, and the Canadian province of Ontario, and he believes it is likely that the United States will institute BIPV/BAPV incentives beginning in 2011. Additional factors that are likely to fuel adoption of BIPV/BAPV are efficiency improvements in both c-Si modules and flexible thin film panels and shingles, an enhanced supply chain for BIPV/BAPV solar products, much easier rooftop installation, and an increasing desire to "go green" by owners of residences and commercial buildings. The report "Building-Integrated Photovoltaics" 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. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free at the link below. Some of the players in the BIPV market include: Global Solar with flexible CIGS modules; Dyesol Inc., (ASX: DYE) through a joint venture called DyeTec Solar; Ascent Solar (NASDAQ:ASTI) with flexible CIGS modules; Suntech Power (NYSE: STP) through the licensing of a solar roofing tile; Energy Conversion Devices (Nasdaq: ENER); and Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW), which is planning a massive roll-out of a solar roofing product called the Powerhouse Solar Shingle. Website: www.pikeresearch.com Reprinted with permission from Sustainable Business
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