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  • Forecast: Niche Solar on the Rise

Photonics.com
Jun 2014
BOSTON, June 25, 2014 — Power generated by niche solar installations is expected to grow to 1.2 GW by 2024, according to market analysis firm Lux Research.

Thin-film solar products have been unsuccessful in competition against more mainstream crystalline silicon, leading thin-film manufacturers to seek out smaller markets, Lux Research said. One promising market is building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), which incorporate solar panels directly in building roofs, skylights or facades.

“Technology barriers, including the need for high-quality barrier films and integrators’ hesitance, have slowed growth in these markets to date,” said Lux Research analyst Edward Cahill. “Market adoption has been limited and will remain small relative to conventional solar demand, but the niche application can be a profitable side business that supports a core business market.”

Solar shingles account for 425 MW, nearly half of the BIPV solar market today. Lux Research predicts that facades will grow faster, at a 20 percent compound annual growth rate, to 407 MW in 2024. Meanwhile, solar rechargers for electronics are set to grow to 125 MW.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa is the largest market for niche solar and will remain so, growing from 66 MW in 2013 to 505 MW in 2024, Lux Research predicts. The Asia-Pacific region will expand faster, from 27 MW to 315 MW, while the Americas market will grow from 61 MW to 340 MW, Lux Research predicts.

For more information, visit www.luxresearchinc.com.


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