NanoMarkets report: CIGS growth not limited by indium supply


Often touted as the next thin film technology to take on cadmium telluride thin film leader First Solar, copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) technology is set to grow and the use of indium, a key absorber material will grow even faster. In a new report from NanoMarkets entitled ‘Indium Markets for Photovoltaics,’ indium consumption is expected to rise 80% by 2016, equating to 228 metric tons (MT) in 2016, up from the 20MT consumed today. However, the market research firm is forecasting that CIGS PV cells would represent only 8% of PV megawatts in that time.

Unlike the concerns raised over the last few years as to whether there was enough tellurium to meet demand from CdTe PV production, NanoMarkets doesn’t see any shortage of indium to limit CIGS growth.

“As far as a looming shortage of indium, the quick answer is no, we don’t believe a shortage is looming,” noted Paul Markowitz, Senior Analyst at NanoMarkets. “But we do expect price volatility.”

Markowitz also told PV-Tech that the indium market would prove volatile from a pricing perspective as it takes several months to develop new indium capacity. Forthermore, demand spikes can significantly outpace supply, though temporary and not indicative of an actual long-term shortage.

“It is important to note that we are talking about short-term phenomena,” remarked Markowitz. “In the long term, there is plenty of indium available.  Indium is basically a by-product of zinc ore processing and extraction is currently limited by facilities and the economics of the process; sustained higher prices would and have been demonstrated to bring about increased production including from other sources. These other sources include recycling of scrap ITO and extraction from ores of other metals besides zinc.”

NanoMarkets expects a change over time away from the use of sputtering targets and evaporation slugs as lower-cost deposition methods develop. The market research firm expects a shift towards indium salts for electrodeposition and nanoparticles of indium, indium selenide, and indium oxide inks for printing. Printing and electrodeposition will represent close to 28%, or 52.3MT, of the total indium consumption for CIGS PV in 2016.

NanoMarkets also said in the report that indium consumption for ITO in the PV industry will grow from 13MT in 2011 to 39.4MT in 2016.

23 August 2022
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 23–25, 2022, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry. In 2021 – despite the Covid-19 pandemic – Intersolar South America welcomed more than 28,000 visitors and over 1,000 conference attendees over 3 days. 200+ providers showcased their products. Combining local and international expertise, Intersolar South America brings together the PV and solar thermal sector to discuss the current status and strategic trends for Latin American PV markets, as well as technology innovations and new business opportunities. Overall, distributed generation is still driving momentum in the Brazilian market. Get 10% off with code 38LCF6KN
6 September 2022
Intersolar Mexico sits at the cross-section of photovoltaics, solar heating & cooling technologies, and energy storage. The event serves as the industry’s go-to source for invaluable technology trends and premier B2B contacts in the promising Mexican solar market. From September 6–8, 2022 Intersolar Mexico together with the co-located The GREEN Expo® and Aquatech Mexico will take place in Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City.
7 September 2022
The demand for rooftop solar PV is soaring, driven by falling costs of the technology against energy crises that are gripping countries globally. But while an increasing number of households turn to solar to generate their own electricity, there is now a need for more specialist equipment, technologies and services to ensure the solar transition can reach as many customers as possible. Delivering these is now a major challenge for rooftop solar installers. This webinar will analyse the characteristics of the rooftop solar market, discussing how the products, logistics, installation and servicing of solar systems has evolved in line with consumer demands.
14 September 2022
Join us in London for 2 days as we look at the UK’s new landscape for utility & rooftop solar. Understand the new opportunities within this GW-plus annual market!
15 September 2022
Bifacial PV modules will be the dominant solar PV technology globally within one or two years; in the utility-scale sector, their market share is already above 70%. This webinar will provide a clear view on the successful implementation of bifacial technology, maximizing system performance and minimising LCoE.
19 September 2022
RE+ 2022 is the umbrella event that includes SPI, ESI, RE+ Power, and RE+ Infrastructure. As North America's largest renewable energy event, it's a catalyst for industry innovation that's supercharging business growth in the clean energy economy.

Read Next

August 10, 2022
Canadian Solar plans to build an integrated PV manufacturing plant in Western China, with a capacity of 200,000MT of high-purity polysilicon, 10GW of both cells and modules and multi-GW productions of raw and auxiliary materials.
August 10, 2022
Iberdrola has commissioned the 590MW 'Francisco Pizarro' PV project in Extremadura Southwestern Spain, which is Europe’s largest solar plant.
PV Tech Premium
August 10, 2022
PV Tech Premium looks at the main drivers that drove solar PV in Chile in the last years and has risen as one of the leaders in the region.
August 10, 2022
OMERS Private Equity has acquired a minority stake in the Arizona-headquartered solar operations & maintenance (O&M) provider NovaSource Power Services.
August 10, 2022
A solar PV module frame made of recycled roll-formed steel has outperformed conventional aluminium frames in testing by an independent third party.
August 10, 2022
US solar tracker manufacturer FTC Solar has cut its net losses compared with last quarter and Q2 2021 but has seen its revenue collapse, blaming a hostile solar environment in the US that has seen project delays and cancellations, which it said it now hoped was coming to an end.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
September 7, 2022
15:30 AEST (UTC +10)
Solar Media Events
September 14, 2022
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event