Higher efficiency technologies to dominate PV industry by 2018

Despite the lack of current capital expenditure (capex) across the PV industry value chain, market research firm NPD Solarbuzz expects a major shift to higher efficiency cells and modules to finally dominate the sector by the end of 2018.

In a new in-depth analysis of PV technology trends NPD Solarbuzz highlights in its latest PV Technology Roadmap report that conventional mainstream multicrystalline (m-c-Si) p-type technology using solar grade wafers is set to declines to the point its market share base is non-existent by the end of 2017.

“The solar photovoltaic industry will continue to offer strong growth potential for a wide range of PV manufacturing technologies,” said Finlay Colville, vice president at NPD Solarbuzz. “Panel power ratings are expected to constantly hit record levels of performance, provided efficiency enhancements are adequately prioritised.”

A major shift, which is picking up pace, will see the mainstream industry shift to product based on high-efficiency multi-c-Si p-type technology using variants of PERC cell processes on semiconductor grade wafers.

According to NPD Solarbuzz, the high-efficiency (HE) multi-c-Si p-type products will account for well over 50% of the market in 2018.

However, conventional mono-c-Si p-type cell/modules are also expected to follow a gradual decline through 2018, ending up a small niche market, compared to a market share of around 15% in 2014.

The served addressable market for premium c-Si module suppliers is expected to grow 200% after 2015, reaching 7.6 GW in 2018, according to NPD Solarbuzz’s “accelerated PV technology roadmap” scenario.

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