IMS Research predicts continued growth for CPV

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Despite several start-up firm failures and an over-hyped sector, the concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) market is forecast to grow significantly over the next four years, according to the latest report from IMS Research, part of IHS. Though building from a small base, CPV installations are set to almost double in 2012 to around 90MW with a commercial value of US$325 million. By 2016 the market is expected to reach almost 1.2GW.

The research firm noted in its report entitled, The World Market for Concentrated PV, that despite strong competition from conventional PV systems, there is still an attractive market for CPV in its target regions.

“CPV suppliers are being forced to continually decrease costs in order to compete with the rapidly falling cost of PV systems. The technology is still relatively new and faces bankability issues. Despite this, CPV suppliers have made significant progress in the USA market, with a forecast 13% share of the target market in 2012, rising to a predicted 27% by 2016, commented report co-author and IMS Research analyst Jemma Davies.

The target markets are expected to remain as ground-mount systems with a direct normal irradiance DNI above 6kWh/m2/day by 2016.

However, high concentration PV (HCPV) systems are forecast to dominate the market in 2012, while low concentration PV (LCPV) installations are forecast to accelerate over the next five years, capturing a 20% share of the CPV market by 2016.

“Currently LCPV suppliers have not entered the market aggressively, however with recognised companies such as SunPower poised to install a significant amount from 2013, these products are set to gain market share as a result” added report co-author Sam Wilkinson.

With the likes of SunPower, already a major utility-scale PV project developer in the US, IMS said that it expected CPV to gain a 13% share of the target market in USA and Central America in 2012, increasing to 27% by 2016.

In particular, regions such as South West US, Chile, Saudi Arabia and Morocco are predicted to see high growth, with conditions in these regions suited to CPV.

In June this year, Lux Research said that it expected the HCPV to have a 31% compound annual growth rate until 2017, growing to 697MW in five years.

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