In a new report from NanoMarkets, the market research firm is forecasting strong growth for CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenium) based thin film photovoltaics despite current economic difficulties. NanoMarkets is projecting CIGS sales to reach US$2.1 billion in 2016, up from US$402.1 million expected in 2011.
However, the landscape of the technologies used for both substrates and deposition techniques is set to change, as lower cost panels are required to drive global markets. Key changes include the growth of flexible roll-to-roll substrates compared with the current dominance of glass substrates. The development of non-vacuum based deposition tools is also expected to rise such as electrodeposition and printing
Techniques to further reduce the cost of cells.
NanoMarkets believes that recent cell efficiency records for CIGS set by NREL 20.0% and the development of new substrate materials such as glass-polymer composites and polyimide materials will spur future growth.
New entrants in the form of IBM and co-developer TOK are also noted for their focus on CIGS based cells and the impact this could potentially have on the growth of CIGS based photovoltaics.