small plans: nanotechnology for the building industry

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Thin-film and organic photovoltaics on the rise

Integrated building and construction products such as photovoltaic-enabled roofing and window materials are projected to be the largest market opportunity in the booming thin-film and organic photovoltaics (PV) field, measuring $800 million by 2011.

EETimes reports that the total market for thin-film and organic PV is projected to be worth over $2.3 billion by 2011, according to NanoMarkets, an industry analyst firm.

Honda Motor Co., for example, has announced it will soon start full-scale production of thin-film PV products and Shell Oil has just sold off its conventional PV business to focus on thin film.

On the other hand, NanoMarkets points out that thin film and organic PV is also a technology space that has received its fair share of hype and controversy with competing claims by different manufacturers on where and how it can be applied, and disputes over conversion efficiencies and costs per watt.

On the materials front, amorphous silicon, the best established of the various thin-film PV materials, will represent an $800 million opportunity followed by organic and hybrid organic/inorganic materials and then CIS/CIGS.

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