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The global photovoltaic materials market - is the future bright?

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By Gaurav Vyas, Research Analyst, Frost & Sullivan; Dr. Leonidas Dokos, Global Programme Manager, Frost & Sullivan

Despite the financial crisis and present credit crunch, photovoltaic materials markets experienced only a temporary slide in demand in 2009, with the overall outlook remaining optimistic. This paper presents a strategic analysis review for the materials used in photovoltaic modules, essentially materials for encapsulant, frontsheet, backsheet and anti-reflection coatings. Rising concerns about the need to reduce CO2 emissions and increase the use of renewable energy sources worldwide will stimulate the global photovoltaic market. Feed-in tariffs and politically backed targets boosting renewable energy use will provide further impetus to the photovoltaic market. This, in turn, will have a positive ripple effect on the demand for photovoltaic materials; however, depending on the market share for technology used, i.e. crystalline or thin film for PV energy, the market for materials will be influenced, in addition to advantages and disadvantages of these materials that will influence their market share. With rising awareness about green trends, the future will lie in technologies that offer enhanced energy-efficient solutions at a low cost. Manufacturers who offer products with optimum performance while remaining price-orientated will be poised to gain substantial market share.

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