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Solar Power – A Disruptive Innovation

The solar power economy continues to grow even though the industry faced a serious crisis between 2011 and 2013, due to a global financial downturn, government subsidy cuts, and Chinese PV manufacturers’ flood of imports. According to McKinsey Quarterly, solar is now a far more cost-competitive power source than it was in the mid-2000s. A study by the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, DC found that global installations have, in fact, gone up to over 50% since 2006. With the rapid evolution of solar technology and the growing widespread impact of renewable energy on businesses and consumers, this industry truly has a disruptive potential. It is now poised to assume a bigger role in global energy markets and according to Zachary Shahan, director of CleanTechnica, utilities will probably be the first major sector to feel solar power’s disruptive potential.

Dropping Prices & Improvements

Solar technology is continuously improving and with it the costs are also dropping and it is these dynamics that will ensure that solar power remain disruptive and world-changing, points out Mr. Shahan. On the other hand, energy dependence on perishable resources like fossil fuels cannot be renewed and hence their prices will increase as the supplies slowly diminish.

Cutting Soft Costs

The findings of McKinsey Quarterly show that with the ongoing decline of module costs, there is a good chance for soft costs associated with installation and service to reduce. Their research reveals that the expenses of customer acquisition, financing, regulatory incentives and approvals have become cheaper. These expenses collectively represent half the expense of installing residential systems in USA and the overall costs to consumers are poised to fall to $2.30 by 2015 and to $1.60 by 2020.  The soft costs are lower in Germany and Australia which are more mature markets and McKinsey Quarterly predicts a further reduction of costs in the coming years.

The potential for disruptive innovation lies in sharply declining costs. GTM research findings show a steep decline in the costs for rooftop solar PV installations – from nearly $7 per watt peak of best-in-class system capacity in 2008 to $4 or less in 2013. Steep reductions in upstream costs are one of the reasons for this. The same research shows how module costs reduced by nearly 30 % a year between 2008 and 2013, while installations rose from 1.7 gigawatts in 2009 to an estimated 11 gigawatts by the end of 2013.

This striking reduction in costs makes solar a better option for residential and commercial consumers when compared to retail electricity. Even for industrial and wholesale markets, setting up solar power is more cost competitive in many areas compared to constructing traditional power-generated technologies like coal, gas and nuclear energy, the McKinsey Quarterly’s study finds out. China and Japan are examples of two markets investing seriously in renewable energy. Following the Fukishima nuclear incident, Japan is focusing on replacing its nuclear capacity with solar. Across USA and Europe the adoption of solar power has quadrupled since 2009.

Moving Straight to Solar Energy

Many regions across the globe with limited communications infrastructure have leapfrogged landlines and have entered the mobile phone market.  Similarly, many parts of the developing world will actually benefit from jumping from no electricity or unreliable electricity, to solar electricity, says Mr. Shahan. Countries like Africa and India have many remote localities with either no power or limited, unreliable electric grids. Now distributed generation is gaining momentum in these regions and electrifying areas which previously did not have power. Saudi Arabia is another country that is planning to install solar power with an aim to create local jobs as well.

Big Corporations switching to Solar Power

The pricing and environmental advantages of solar power are also a stimulus to business consumption and investment. The McKinsey Quarterly notes how some of the biggest corporations are switching over to rooftop solar power. Companies with high power costs and large physical footprints are able to setup commercial-scale solar power systems at low prices.

Mr. Shahan points out the example of Wal-Mart Stores which plans to switch to 100% renewable power by 2020. He also gives the example of Verizon which has invested $100 million on solar and fuel-cell technology to power its facilities and cell-network infrastructure. The famous Starwood Hotels and Resorts too have plans to make its hotels completely solar-powered.

More Investments in Solar

Solar Power’s long-term contracts and relative protection from fuel-price fluctuations are reasons why more people are investing in it. With falling cost of capital, insurance companies, banks and institutional investors are becoming more at ease with the risks associated with long-term ownership of solar assets, states McKinsey Quarterly. Weather uncertainty and the reliability of components are some of the risks associated with solar installations. The study found that some investors are even willing to underwrite long-term debt positions for solar.

Some of the innovative players in this field also are creating advanced financial products to meet solar power’s investment profile. NRG Yield, a company that acquires, owns, and operates contracted renewable and conventional generation and thermal infrastructure assets in the US through its subsidiaries is one of the classic examples. McKinsey Quarterly also gives the example of Google which has been an active tax-equity investor in renewable projects, deploying more than $1 billion since 2010. Many solar projects such as Solar Mosaic are emerging with the help of online financing via crowdsourcing. As this approach grows, it will widen the pool of investors as well as reduce the cost of capital for smaller installations.

New Demand for Solar

Even though only less than half a percent of US electricity generation is through solar power, it still has the potential to disrupt the utility sector, says Mr. Shahan. He points out to the fact that the growth of solar power could threaten utilities reliance on the installation of new capacity. In Europe, the demand for power has fallen while there is an increasing supply of renewable energy resulting in lower power prices and less penetration of conventional power sources.

New Business Opportunities

As solar becomes more economic, it will create new arenas for businesses and new opportunities for consumers. A wide range of partnerships can be built on the customer relationships that solar companies can develop.  Mr. Shahan believes that in the future, many complementary players may partner to bring out innovative products, business models and play an important role in the evolution of the solar sector. 

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2014 – A big year for Solar Industry

The solar industry growing at an accelerated speed. According to according to GTM Research, a solar PV system is installed in the US every four minutes! It is also predicted that by 2016, there could be a solar PV system deployed in America every 80 seconds.

Trending solar news from across the globe reveals that 2014 is very bright for the industry. The survey by GTM research revealed that California has doubled its solar installations this year. The fourth annual National Solar Jobs Census released by The Solar Foundation states that the industry has created about 24,000 new jobs. Investors are now increasingly banking on solar and the policy changes in China and Japan are triggering growth in global PV installations. The statistics are encouraging and proves how far the solar industry has truly come.

Increasing Job Opportunities

One of the most significant signs of the growing importance of solar industry lies in the number of job opportunities the industry provides. The National Solar Jobs Census revealed that one in every 142 new jobs in the U.S. was created by the solar industry, and each day the solar industry creates 56 new jobs across America. The study found that as of November 2013, the solar industry has grown to 142,698 solar workers. This is an almost 20% increase from the 2012 findings and it represents a growth rate that is 10 times faster than what the overall US economy experienced in the same time period, states Frank Andorka, editorial director of Solar Power World. Rather than existing positions that have added solar responsibilities, 77% of the nearly 24,000 new solar workers are new jobs representing 18,211 new jobs created.

The solar job scenario is also favorable in the UK. The extensive survey of the solar job sector conducted by BRE National Solar Centre (NSC) reveals that the solar industry is expecting a tremendous growth over the next 12 months.

Global Solar Installations to increase more than 40GW

The latest quarterly update from Mercom Capital Group forecasts the global solar installations to increase to around 46GW in 2014. IHS, a global information company, states that this 22% growth is largely the result of recent policy changes in two largest markets, China and Japan.  This forecast was based on the recent announcement by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) that it would increase its target for ground-mount PV projects, as well as its total installation goal. Japan’s extremely strong commercial rooftop market is the key factor for the IHS prediction. It expects the rooftop segment to account for about 60% of the total of 9GW that will be installed in Japan this year. This will represent 45%growth from 6.3GW in 2013. Chinese installations are expected to be in the 13 GW range in 2014.

The US solar market is forecast to install 6.4GW in 2014, according to Mercom Capital Group. Although the system costs in US are still high when compared to Germany, innovative financial instruments including asset-backed securities and third-party finances are helping to reduce costs. PV installations in Germany are forecast to be around 2.75GW in 2014 and United Kingdom and India are expected to install approximately 1GW in 2014.

Traditional Energy Investors Banking on Solar

According to Michael Gorton, co-founder of the Principal Solar Institute, a growing number of traditional oil and gas energy investors are looking at solar as a high-return, low-risk investment opportunity. This is in response to solar energy recently become the first energy choice for distributed residential and commercial settings.  Gorton says that solar energy is quickly becoming an important power partner in the nation’s utility-scale power supply. He added that with the continued annual drop in cost, solar will result is competitive, cheaper electricity with higher profit margins for the industry. He predicts that by 2020, solar projects could produce power at much lower costs than nuclear, coal or natural gas.

Gorton adds that solar has long-term stability of pricing since its fuel is free. With continuing cost-effectiveness, solar will function as a traditional utility investment. Once built, solar produces no pollutants and there are billions to be earned from converting sunlight to electricity.

Solar industry has the potential for delivering more efficient and less costly power as well as creating job opportunities that will boost the economy. Gorton believes that it is cheap, abundant electricity that keep the industry competitive as it is electricity that drives almost every part of the economy.

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Organic Solar Cells Market 2012-2018

One of the recent developments in the field of renewable energy technology is the use of organic solar cells. Researchers have been studying the photovoltaic properties of plastic cells manufactured from thinner films of organic semiconductors that comprise of polyphenylene vinylene and tiny molecules of copper phthalocyanine. These solar cells also include carbon fullerenes and fullerene derivatives. According to Transparency Market Research (TMR), a market intelligence company, organic solar cell holds the potential to reduce the overall cost involved in manufacturing and installing of silicon solar cells.

The plastic used in organic solar cells has low production costs in high volumes. Combined with the flexibility of organic molecules, organic solar cells are potentially cost-effective for photovoltaic applications.

Taking into consideration the immense potential of organic solar cells to define the future of the solar industry, TMR has undertaken a deep study of the organic solar cells industry. The report includes a detailed market survey, overview of the industry, global market industry structure and analysis of the recent trends.

According to the report, the fluctuating silicon prices will result in the effective growth of the organic solar cells market. Compared to the weight and size of the traditional silicon-based solar cells, the small and compact size of organic solar cell is more beneficial and preferred by the consumers. Moreover, depleting fossil fuels, the rising demand for electricity, and the rising global temperature owing to burning of fossil fuels are diverging consumers across the globe to use organic solar cells. This in turn is boosting the market growth, states the report.

Back in 2012, IDTechEx, a market research company, published a report asserting that the organic photovoltaic market is about to hit a value of $630 million in ten years. Ovidiu Sandru reporter at The Green Optimist explains that the although organic photovoltaic cells are not as efficient as their silicon counterparts, they are cheaper to make and researchers will soon come up with new and better formulae that will increase their efficiency and further reduce production cost.

He adds that with their excellent form factor, good performance under indoor lighting conditions and low capital expenditure, organic PVs will not only target existing markets, but will also enable new ones, which existing solutions may not have been able to address.

Ovidiu’s opinion is reflected in TMR’s report, which predicts that over the years the cost involved in manufacturing organic solar cells would reduce and provide new market opportunities.

The new upcoming regulations of EPA and Greenpeace, imposing strict ban over the silicon based semiconductor, would further create new market opportunities for the organic solar cell.  Some of the major players of the market are Sono-tek, Heliatek, Solarmer, Mitsubishi, Plextronics, Dyesol, EPFL, Peccell, G24i and others.

The report has analyzed the organic solar cell market depending on its market segments, major geographies, and current market trends. It provides pinpoint analysis of changing competition dynamics.

Reference: http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2012/05/16/organic-solar-cells-market-2022-study/#.Uxh5Pz-Sxc0

http://www.academia.edu/4503782/Global_Organic_Solar_Cells_Market_-_Industry_Analysis_Size_Share_Growth_Trends_and_Forecast_2012_-_2018_

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Solar Exchange Launched

Solar Exchange Launched

Solar Exchange Launched

Gone are the days where brick-and-mortar commerce were a sellers only option to reach new markets.  With the launch of Solar Exchange, the leading global solar marketplace, facilitating B2B online auctions for direct materials and finished goods, we are ushering in a new era in solar commerce through a cloud-based trading platform that will change the way solar business gets done. Once you register as a buyer, seller or both, you can browse to bid, buy and sell.

This is the first time a solar-specific online auction platform has been established to connect global solar professionals.  Solar Exchange offers a solution to make your organization achieve new levels of success.

To become a member of the Solar Exchange marketplace, go to www.solarexchange.com and register today.

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Global Solar Market to Grow by 20% in 2014

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) recently conducted a survey of some of the world’s most knowledgeable solar analysts to gather their forecasts on the solar sector’s performance in 2014.

The survey revealed that most experts anticipate a 44.5 GW growth of PV capacity this year. This means the industry will grow by 20.9% compared to 2013.

Experts at IHS Inc., Deustche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc., Yingli, NPD Solarbuzz, Wacker Chemie AG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP were interviewed by BNEF.

Between 2012-2013, the global solar PV market had grown by 20.3% and authorities predict similar levels of growth in 2014 as well. With state support of PV pushing the industry towards an additional 10-14 GW of capacity, China is predicted to lead the way this year and will cement its position as the world’s largest solar PV market ahead of Japan and USA. It would be these three markets that will boost PV to greater heights they believe. Jenny Chase, BNEF’s head of solar analysis stated that the 2013 figures show the astonishing scale of the Chinese market. She added that PV is becoming ever cheaper and simpler to install and it can easily be deployed in response to incentives.

Ash Sharma, IHS senior research director for solar energy stated that the global solar industry is on a rebound after two years of strenuous recession. PV installations are set to rise and solar manufacturing capital spending is recovering. This year will also witness the stabilization of module prices and a rise in emerging markets.

BNEF survey revealed that 2014 will see a more balanced solar market with the growth in China, Japan and US reflected in the new emerging markets of Brazil, Chile, Thailand and Australia.

The rise in the solar share prices in Asia in the last 12 months proves that big solar players including SunPower Corp. and Yingli are returning to profit. According to Bloomberg, the NYSE Bloomberg Global Solar Energy Index has grown by 70% in the last year. The survey revealed that SunPower, Panasonic and Yingli were getting encouraging financial figures, with the second quarter of this year promising to be a watershed moment as even more leading companies post their first profits for as much as three years.

In total, BNEF report that $102 billion was invested in global solar installations in 2013. Ash Sharma expects manufacturers of polysilicon to benefit the most this year, owing to the disappearance of the oversupply that nearly ruined the markets at the beginning of last year.

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Solar Exchange – Helping Companies Reach New Heigh...

Since its launch, Solar Exchange has become the preeminent marketplace for buying and selling goods for solar professionals. Beyond its capacity as a platform for online auctions, Solar Exchange is a dynamic and secure environment designed to help companies extend market reach, source and procure materials and finished goods at lower costs, and remove traditional trade barriers that exist with today’s market approach to solar supply chain commerce.  Solar Exchange is advantageous for both buyers and sellers.

Advantages for Buyers

With new policies, subsidies and continued growing awareness for solar, new markets are emerging and the renewable energy industry is at the threshold of a new energy revolution. There is a growing demand for solar products and each day new solar projects are being undertaken by countries across the globe. As a buyer, competing in today’s solar market requires smart purchasing of solar materials and finished goods. Utilizing the Solar Exchange online auction platform enables organizations to access millions of goods from all over the world directly from your desktop, saving time and money. Buyers have access to a wide array of solar content from across the globe. Solar Exchange also provides the added advantage of Escrow services to ensure your commerce transactions are safe and secure. 

By providing solar products direct from manufacturers, buyers have the power to purchase at prices as if they had direct buying relationships with global manufacturers and can avoid the added margin cost burden typically associated with purchasing from middlemen. To further accelerate the buying process, Solar Exchange provides a number of convenient commerce options.  Buyers can bid in Solar Exchange auctions to procure products at prices they are willing to pay.  Alternatively, if a buyer would prefer not to wait until an auction closes, they can elect to purchase the product immediately through Solar Exchange’s ‘Buy Now’ option. Lastly, Solar Exchange also offers a powerful “Request-for-Quote” (RFQ) capability where the buyer can define the requirements of their purchase (brand, specifications, price, quantity, etc.) and submit the RFQ so sellers can bid on the RFQ based on the terms they are willing to sell at.  This powerful solution accelerates sourcing of goods at terms that buyer and seller agree to ensuring buyers can purchase solar products that enables them to remain competitive in today’s solar market. 

Advantages for Sellers

There are always high costs involved in traditional sales channels, however Solar Exchange opens up new avenues for both small and large businesses. Solar Exchange enables sellers to reach buyers on a worldwide basis, and to target new or specific market regions and significantly reduce channel costs. Your company brand and your products gain greater visibility on Solar Exchange. Showcasing products to a wider audience delivers more sales and because your selling costs are lower, ultimately more profit. Selling on Solar Exchange eliminates language barriers of reaching new markets as well by providing multilingual access to buyers worldwide. 

Auctions are always competitive, fast and highly efficient. Online auctions, takes it a notch further. You have buyers from across the globe viewing your product and bidding. Solar Exchange gives you the option of putting in as much details about the product as possible including images, datasheets and other relevant marketing material which makes it more appealing to a potential buyer.

With Solar Exchange you control your pricing.  You can establish a base price for your products, known as “Reserve” so your products always sell above the Reserve price.

Solar Exchange is the only global solution that offers sellers the exclusivity of trading on a platform solely committed to solar products. This provides more prominence for your products and eliminates channel conflict with your buyers. It also allows manufacturers selling products designed for use in specific markets based on regulatory or technical requirements to target their product sales to the right markets. You can find out ways to position and sell high-value items and set the prices for a product you want to buy according to demand and stock levels. Since auctions on Solar Exchange are open 24×7, 365 days a year, it does not matter whether your office is open or not at a certain hour, you can always have items for sale online. It also means you can overlap sales across time zones and reduce the need for your customers to travel to take part in buying. As Solar Exchange is accessible all the time, you can effectively sell even during holidays.

One concern that sellers in traditional markets face is the storage of inventory. There is always problem of storage of goods until sale and this require additional costs to procure storage facilities and increased chances of goods getting damaged. By trading through Solar Exchange, you need to ship the inventory only when there is a successful bid. The loss incurred due to damage and storage costs are greatly minimised.

Solar Exchange also enables sellers to conduct test pricing on products and analyse price receptivity. When launching new products or testing new markets, your products can be posted on Solar Exchange and based on response, you can quickly gain insight into proper pricing strategies.

Solar Exchange also provides the added advantage of Escrow services to ensure your commerce transactions are safe and secure.

Procurement Benefits for Manufacturers and Suppliers

Solar Exchange is a great place to source materials and components used in manufacturing finished solar goods. It allows manufactures to source critical supplies from suppliers at reduced procurement costs. Unlike traditional sourcing methods, Solar Exchange automatizes the process by allowing the manufacturer to identify new suppliers and engage with multiple suppliers simultaneously with pre-defined specifications to ultimately source materials and components at the lowest possible cost. Manufacturers can also reduce the time spent on procurement by eliminating the traditional supplier engagement process and expediting source to procure cycles.

Solar Exchange has reshaped strategies to increase operational efficiency. Strategic procurement is vital for both manufacturers and suppliers. Using the traditional procurement process, finding suppliers is time-consuming and limits the number of suppliers with whom a manufacturer engages. The result of this limitation imposes sole source dependencies which put supply chains at risk and often results in supply costs that may not be market competitive. Solar Exchange has changed this, manufacturers can now choose from a wide array of suppliers all over the world enabling them to source and procure from a variety of quality suppliers at the lowest possible cost.

Suppliers on the other hand have the benefit of being able to engage directly with manufacturers. This is especially beneficial to offshore and/or small suppliers who seek to expand their sales and engage with a broader market opportunity. Solar Exchange enables a more efficient integration of supply chains and provides negotiation transparency, allowing companies to make better deals. Faster sourcing, procurement and delivery of goods and services also help to promote shorter product-development cycles.

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China’s Huge Solar Development; US Solar Com...

Two of solar power industry’s biggest potential markets, China and USA have seen tremendous development in recent years. According to Peter Moskowitz, digital producer of Al Jazeera America, support from both country’s governments and investors and increased solar capacity has resulted in a massive jump in stock prices in the USA and huge solar development in China.

Last year, China’s cabinet, the State Council has stated that the country aimed to more than quadruple the country’s solar power generating capacity to 35 gigawatts by 2015. The statement published by the council on its website stated that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is taking steps to “promote the healthy development of the photovoltaic industry,” states Mr. Moskovitz.

He added that the Chinese government also announced the development of a 1-gigawatt solar panel field in the middle of the desert in the country’s remote Xinjiang province.

USA too is witnessing landmark advancement in the solar sector. According to Richard Blackwell, reporter at The Globe and Mail, companies such as SunPower Corp., First Solar Inc. and SunEdison Inc. saw their shares rise between 60 per cent and 250 per cent in 2013. Chinese companies that trade on U.S. exchanges witnessed an increase of almost 340 percent. This includes Yingli Green Energy, Trina Solar and JinkoSolar.  The US installation solar power company, SolarCity also saw a sevenfold increase in stock price since it went public just over a year ago. Other solar stocks are also surging.

Despite these great strides, some analysts question the commitment of the U.S. and China toward a greener future. Mr. Moskowitz states that there is a question of sustainability that we need to consider. Previously government’s involvement in the solar industry caused trade friction between China and the US, and more recently, the European Union. China has been accused of dumping underpriced solar panels on foreign markets, making it harder for other countries to develop their own solar industries. As a follow up to their original trade complaint initiated in 2011, SolarWorld Industries America, a German corporation that manufacturers panels in the US, filed broader anti-dumping cases with the US Commerce Department to restructure the way it imposes duties on solar imports. This could have adverse effect on the Chinese solar panel market states Al Jazeera America.

The rising stock prices in USA are also met with skepticism. Some stock analysts think the current surge in prices on Wall Street can’t be maintained forever, according to the New York Times. It added that the companies like SolarCity are growing too fast to do its work well.

The biggest threat to the growing solar industry comes from utility companies that are campaigning to take away government incentives that will make solar power affordable for average homeowners. Without those tax breaks and credits, the solar industry could struggle.

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Scottish Independence and Renewable Energy

On 18 September 2014, Scottish people will vote on whether or not they want independence from Westminster. In preparation for this, the Scottish National Party (SNP) released its white paper in Glasgow on November this year.  One of the most significant points discussed in the white paper is about the challenges Scotland will face if it becomes independent from UK including cutting it’s reliance on carbon. The report titled ‘Scotland’s Future: Your guide to an independent Scotland’ stated that although Scotland needs a mixed energy portfolio, it has a target of delivering the equivalent of 100% electricity demand and 11% non-electrical heat demand from renewables by 2020.  The report added that Scotland’s targets for decarburization would remain in place if the country becomes independent.

Alex Salmond, the SNP leader and Scottish first minister launched the white paper recently. Speaking on the matter, he stated that it was one of the most comprehensive blueprints for an independent country ever published.

Independence would give Scotland the “full range of power to develop renewable energy,” states SNP who had discussed the importance of clean energy at the party’s conference early this year. SNP energy minister Fergus Ewing praised the country’s renewable industry pointing out that it provided jobs, low energy prices and benefitted the community.

The Scottish government also plans to establish an “energy partnership” with Westminster so that Scotland’s long-term interests are better served.

The white paper mentioned that Scotland’s new energy policy would focus on enhancing security of supply, promoting decarburization and climate change ambitions and expanding a thriving energy sector. There are also plans to establish a new National Regulatory Authority for Energy, operating in co-operation with the electricity and gas market regulator in the rest of the UK.  

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Asian Solar PV Market to Reach USD 4.80 Billion in...

A new analysis from California-based global business consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan states that by 2018, the Asian solar PV market will reach USD 4.80 billion. The report titled “Strategic Analysis of Asian Photovoltaic Materials Market” discovered that the Asian market earned revenues of 1.94 billion USD in 2012 and estimates this to reach 4.80 billion by 2018. It also states that China, Taiwan and Japan together account for over 70 per cent of the global solar PV cell or module production.

Due to the cost advantage, Asia has become the production hub for solar PV materials with most of the PV material suppliers moving their production base to Asia in the last few years. Moreover, there is growing consumer awareness on environment issues and strong commitments to reduce carbon emissions that has fired the interest in renewable energy. This has increased the market potential for PV materials. Frost & Sullivan’s analysis also states that  government-support in the form of tax credits, subsidies and feed-in tariff mechanisms has added to the demand for PV modules, and thereby PV materials in Asia. Also, constant technological modernizations that drive the competitiveness of PV-based power along with increasing efficiency are leading to lower costs per watt in the Asian PV materials market.

The analysis covered three key PV materials: frontsheets, encapsulants and backsheets.

Mr. Balasubramaniam Ramani, Senior Consultant (Chemicals and Materials) at Frost & Sullivan said that the global PV material manufacturers have established strong partnerships with PV module manufacturers, supporting market development. The close connection between module manufacturers and material suppliers improves the material suppliers’ insight into the market and ensures timely delivery as well as enhanced product offerings.  

The report also predicts that the PV materials market may move towards the next stage of expansion, where achieving grid parity and affordability without relying on government subsidies will be vital.  Mr. Ramani adds that the challenge lies in improving technology while keeping costs down. He maintains that the pressure to lower prices has already enormously affected margins and removed a number of smaller market participants, even compelling some to withdraw from the market. The challenge is also augmented by the economic turndown and the price wars, which will affect both revenue and bottom line in the future.

Despite predicting a 4.80 billion in 2018, the report notes that the Asian PV materials market will witness only a moderate growth between 2012 and 2015. The report attributes this to the narrowing of incentive policies, which has slowed down the solar industry and in turn, the PV materials market. Moreover, sudden changes in government support plans can harm the industry, as the uncertainty discourages both investors and manufacturers, the report points out.

The period between 2015 and 2020 will be one of rapid growth primarily due to the likely shift of backsheet production which is the only segment that is yet to move its production from European countries to Asia, stated Mr. Ramani.

“Japan and China are likely to surpass European countries in terms of PV installations after 2015, lending strong momentum to the Asian PV materials market,” he added.

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