The PV industry may use glass as a key component within rigid modules but for many glass manufacturers, the PV industry is one of its smallest market sectors. With demand dominated by the construction and automotive industries, PV is just a speck on the TAM (total available market) charts, often too minor for most glass manufacturers to bother with.
However, the growth in the industry hasn’t gone unnoticed by glass manufacturers, though few glass products are as yet specifically made for PV requirements. That could change, at least at Corning, which is touting a major investment in research and development for photovoltaics, and the company's Harrodsburg, Kentucky plant is in the process of expanding its manufacturing capabilities with the intention of beginning production of PV glass early in 2012.
James B. Flaws, vice chairman and chief financial officer at Corning said in a statement that new business sectors such as PV are expected to generate up to US$500 million in new sales in the future.