CIGS market to double by 2015

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According to a report released by the research company, CIGS solar installations will grow two-fold by 2015, to reach US$2.35 billion, or 2.3 gigawatts (GW), up from the current 1.2 GW level. This growth potential has been attributed to a "breakout year" in 2011, which saw manufacturers taking advantage of such factors as reduced production costs and improved efficiencies.

Despite the potential, Lux says there are still many challenges, including a decrease in venture capital money, and issues surrounding lifetime and bankability. Consequently, it believes that only manufacturers like Solar Frontier, Avancis and Solibro, will stay afloat, due to their strategic partnerships and investments, which will help increase capacities and enhance production processes.

Specifically, Lux says that Solar Frontier is a "clear winner" in its "Lux Innovation Grid". "With inroads into new and emerging markets such as India, where it is selling over 30 MW of panels, Solar Frontier excels in overall execution," it remarked.

Meanwhile, the company predicts that Global Solar, Avancis and Solibro are likely to consolidate, while ISET, Flisom and AQT are potential acquisition targets. "All three are … firms with strong technical value but weaker business execution scores … and have assets that make them prized acquisition targets," it explained.

Lux additionally believes that Stion, Nuvosun and MiaSolé have the ability to be "champions". However, it says that their success will depend on "capacity utilization and ramp-up, customer relationships, strategic partnerships and consistent execution in terms of their module costs, yield and module efficiency."

MiaSolé lays off staff

In related news, it has been reported that U.S.-based CIGS company, MiaSolé has laid off 10 percent of its workforce.

Greentechmedia reports that the Silicon Valley startup, which counts companies like Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, and VantagePoint Capital Partners among its investors, has let around 10 percent of its full time workforce go. The affected employees are said to mainly be from the company’s engineering and equipment design groups.

A spokesperson reportedly told the media outlet, "The affected staff have been given 30 days’ notice and the company is supporting each individual with work placement."

MiaSolé could not be reached for further comment.