BIPV sector to reach 1.15 GW by 2019, says report

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Key product advances in the building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) sector will help the industry reach 1.15 GW of installed global capacity by 2019, according to a recent report from Transparency Market Research.

The analysts’ Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) Market: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019 report found that in 2012, 343.1 MW of BIPV capacity was added worldwide, and forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.7% until 2019.

The BIPV sector has been driven in recent years by key product segments, chiefly rooftop, curtain wall and BIPV window installations. In 2012, rooftop BIPV applications accounted for 67% of the market, with the use of curtain wall technologies growing rapidly thanks to BIPV’s emergence in the commercial sector. In fact, Transparency Market Research expect curtain wall to be the sector’s fastest-growing product segment between now and 2019.

Improvements in transparent, insulated and colored BIPV window products over the next few years will also help this segment grow, buoyed by advances in organic photovoltaics (OPV). Equally, C-Si technology received substantial demand in 2012, accounting for more than 60% of the market share, while the thin film segment is forecast to enjoy a CAGR of 19.1% by 2019, say the analysts.

In terms of geographical spread, Europe is the market leader for BIPV, accounting for 41% of annual installations in 2012, ahead of North America on 27%. The analysts believe that ever- more stringent environmental regulations in Europe’s building sector have helped boost the industry, which was driven in 2012 by the commercial sector – 67% of all BIPV installations that year were for commercial end-users.

Projected growth for the BIPV sector in the potentially lucrative Asia Pacific market is expected to be anchored in the commercial sector, with residential and industrial installations likely to remain niche, bit-part players in BIPV for a few years yet. In terms of market share, BIPV is dominated by a handful of companies. Transparency Market Research found that First Solar, Ascent Solar Technologies Inc, Pythagoras Solar Ltd, Sapa Solar and Centrosolar AG accounted for 40% of the market in 2012.