Growing Era of Green Technology Driving Thin Films Markets, Reports BCC Research


Rising energy costs and climate change are driving the increase in the use of renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaic technologies and thin film batteries. BCC Research reveals in its new report that continuous advancements are being made in the field of thin film technologies, along with significant reductions in cost, which is furthering adoption of these technologies.

A thin film is a layer of material with thicknesses ranging from fractions of a nanometer to several micrometers. Thin film technologies use thin films to improve the function of energy supply and storage. They are proven techniques but vary in size and scope. The technology is used in commercial applications such as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), consumer electronics and wearable devices, as well as in various industrial applications such as transportation, aerospace and defense, agriculture, packaging, medical devices, power backup and instrumentation. The major advantage of thin film technology, particularly in photovoltaic (PV) applications, is it can be applied over large areas, creating the ability to generate electricity even during cloudy weather conditions.

The global market for thin films in energy applications should reach $8.9 billion and nearly $18.8 billion in 2016 and 2021, respectively, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.1%. As a segment, utilities should grow from nearly $6.1 billion in 2016 to $13.1 billion in 2021 on a five-year CAGR of 16.7%. Commercial segment of this market should reach $3.3 billion in 2021, up from $1.7 billion in 2016, demonstrating a five-year CAGR of 14.1%.

Rising energy costs coupled with climate change are driving the increase in the use of renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaic technologies and thin film batteries. Continuous technological advancements, along with significant reductions in cost, is further driving adoption of these technologies. In addition, with the increased number of start-up and small companies in the Asia-Pacific region, the production and installation of technologies in energy applications are increasing with the establishment of new manufacturing facilities.

Photovoltaic cells offer a cost-effective medium to generate electricity from solar energy. Demand for PV cells has increased due to the growing awareness and demand for renewable sources of energy. However, their low efficiency and high manufacturing cost have compelled the industry to search for alternate and cheaper cells with high conversion efficiencies.

Utility applications of thin films are expected to increase from $5.3 billion in 2015 to $6.1 billion in 2016, at a year-on-year growth rate of 13.5%. Further growth is expected at a five-year CAGR (2016 through 2021) of 16.7%, with the market reaching nearly $13.1 billion in 2021.

"The era of green technology has emerged due to concerns about the environment. Developing renewable energy sources has never been more important and solar (PV) technologies are exhibiting great potential in this field," says BCC Research analyst Aneesh Kumar. "The rising prices of conventional energy sources and their limited availability have forced the world to turn to renewable sources of energy, the most notable of them being the sun."

The Global Market for Thin Films in Energy Applications (EGY060C) analyzes films in applications that include fuel cells, photovoltaics, solar thermal technologies, geothermal energy, wind energy, and nuclear energy. The report also examines technologies, raw materials, and geography (including analysis across various countries) that influence the market. Analyses of global market drivers and trends, with data from 2015, 2016, and projections of CAGRs through 2021 also are provided.