BIPV Growth Showing Continued Growth

Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets announced its latest report this week on the building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solar market entitled, “BIPV Roofing Markets.” BIPV are photovoltaic materials that are used to replace conventional building materials in parts of the building envelope such as the roof, skylights, or facades. This recent report claims that the total market value for BIPV roofing products will hit $3.9 billion by 2016.

NanoMarkets predicts the market for today’s related products to grow steadily but sees the market for more fully integrated BIPV roofing panels as presenting the best overall long-term proposition. The report estimate may be readjusted upwards if the market for new home construction significantly improves in the next couple years, as residential solar growth is clearly tied to this trend.

This study provides in-depth market analysis of the BIPV roofing industry, discussing the ways that BIPV roofing can enable new business revenues at a time when both the construction and PV industries are dealing with difficult economic conditions. The solar industry has been seriously affected by reductions in subsidies in the US and Europe, while the oversupply of modules from China and other factors have led to the demise and bankruptcy of countless companies this past year.

The NanoMarkets report comprises BIPV roofing overlays, BIPV roofing tiles, and flexible BIPV roofing or shingles and contains detailed forecasts with respect to power generation and volume, including subsections by PV technology, type of building, retrofit vs. new construction, and geographical region. It also examines the strategies of industry-leading firms with BIPV products including: 3S Swiss Systems, Atlantis Energy, Dyesol, GE, Global Solar, Lumeta, Sharp, Solarcentury, Soltecture, SunPower, Suntech Tata Steel and Xunlight.

An emerging BIPV manufacturer, Nanosolar, continues to capitalize on copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) technology and drum-up funding amid major financial problems for numerous other solar manufacturing players. Despite the continued solar shakeout across the industry, venture capital funding of next-generation CIGS technology remains on par with recent years. A new round of funding, led by OnPoint Technologies, Inc., Mohr Davidow Ventures and Ohana Holdings LLC and international Family Offices of approximately $70 million has been provided to Nanosolar. This new financing complements the $20 million received in February 2012 to aid its ground-mounted utility-scale solar efforts. Moreover, President Obama has visited there R&D facility in Silicon Valley several times to publicize their success.

NanoMarkets forecasts that the BIPV roofing sector will reach $3.9 billion in revenues in the year 2016, equally distributed between the overlay, rigid and flexible product sectors. BIPV roofing overlays are often easier to install and maintain than conventional PV and represent a unique product diversification for the roofing products industry. By 2016, NanoMarkets estimate that revenues from BIPV roofing overlays will be $1.1 billion.

NanoMarkets believes almost 90 percent of the 160 MW of BIPV roofing products will ship in 2012 will be based on conventional crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV technology. This type of solar module has fallen dramatically in average selling prices due to the oversupply on the market, which has subsequently driven down prices for competitive technologies including CIGS. However, in the next three years it is expected that CIGS will gain market share from c-Si, since they can be utilized for lighter weight PV that can be extensively deployed on roofs without the need for additional support. The NanoMarkets report can be found here.

All in all, the solar industry has undergone a significant shakeout this past year; however BIPV offer a glimmering light at the end of the tunnel.

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Original Article on Phoenix Green Business Examiner

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