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GTM Research Report Predicts Immense Opportunities for Solar PV Materials Market

GTM Research has made public its latest report titled ‘PV Bill of Materials Outlook: 2010-2015’, with a comprehensive survey on the major trends and players in the PV market, along with predictions of both sales and material costs for both thin-film and crystalline silicon technologies.

The PV materials market worldwide includes twelve or more important materials used in producing the module and is predicted to reach US$12.8 billion by the year 2014. This prediction does not include polysilicon feedstock, which would show a growth of 50% from the 2010 market value. This is mainly due to the material vendors who have focused all their attention on developing enhanced relationships with the producers of modules through optimized fab placements and customized solutions and also due to the worldwide scaling of module production.

The report gives an analysis of the opportunities, economics and the players in the materials market all over the world with regard to the major components used in thin-film and crystalline modules. It includes cost forecasts and supply/demand dynamics for materials such as pastes/screens, glass, encapsulants, junction boxes/cables, gases/chemicals, frames, ribbons, backsheets and thin film feedstock and gives a prediction that each individual material would reach $1 billion by 2014. According to Shyam Mehta, a Senior Analyst in GTM Research, the solar market had till now been focusing only on polysilicon as the major PV material as it signified the majority of the module costs. However, with reduction in polysilicon costs, the collective PV materials market has gained more significance.

The report also predicts a 15% drop in the cumulative PV materials cost by 2014. Module producers look forward to create closer ties with specialized vendors mainly because of the entrance of new technological  innovations and materials such as glass, frame and paste/screen. To conclude, the report states that to enable implementation of cost improvements, the successful PV materials suppliers would have to work along with component producers and capital equipment vendors. Mehta has written about the success story of the PV materials-based 5NPlus in Canada as an illustration. According to him, 5NPlus has a great demand for their material as they were the major supplier of Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) feedstock for First Solar. Their latest move of constructing a CdTe recycling plant in close proximity to the module factory of First Solar in Malaysia showed how important it was for material vendors to work closely with their module customers for achieving significant reductions in costs.

The report also offers insights into the growing strategic materials sector. The report with more than 100 pages and 90 data driven figures provides a comprehensive market and economic analysis of PV materials with predictions of costs, supply and demand for more than 12 of them.


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