According to Lux Research the global PV materials market is set to make a significant recovery on the back of supply and demand coming back into balance in 2015.

The market research firm is forecasting the materials market to go from sales of US$17.8 billion in 2012 to US$27.2 billion in 2018.

Metals, including polysilicon, metallization pastes, and metallic absorber materials used for CIGS thin-film would show the strongest growth. The polysilicon market is expected to reach US$6 billion in the time frame, while metals overall would top US$12.8 billion.

Fatima Toor, Lux Research analyst said, “Differentiated materials that enable high cell or module efficiencies or longer lifetime will be able to earn a premium and cash in on the growing demand. In addition, the push towards improved quality will lead to materials innovations that not only drive down the US$/W but also the US$/kWh, enabling sustainable growth of global PV demand.”

According to Lux Research, materials needed for crystalline silicon modules present the largest market opportunity, reaching US$23.8 billion in 2018. Materials like backsheets, non-EVA encapsulants, metallization pastes, and antireflection (AR) coatings for module glass provide opportunity for innovation and the cornerstone of quality product usage.

The solar industry was said to now prioritizes low US$/kWh on top of US$/W, offering modules with a longer lifetime. Material suppliers like DuPont and downstream developers are setting a new standard. Simultaneously, companies such as Solar Buyer are helping financial institutions better rate module quality.