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Both the building industry, which is still plagued by low housing starts and new builds, and the global solar industry, which is facing severe reductions in financial subsidies in key markets, have been under stress in recent years. The emergent market for building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) offers a new way to develop revenue streams for these two industries.
According to a recent report from Pike Research, the total capacity of BIPV systems worldwide will grow from just over 400 MW in 2012 to 2,250 MW in 2017, a more than five-fold increase. The annual value of the BIPV market is expected to quadruple over the next five years, growing from $606 million in 2012 to more than $2.4 billion in 2017, the study concludes.
“The growing availability of energy-efficient, flexible, and transparent solar materials is transforming the way that architects and building engineers view, and use, photovoltaic systems,” said Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director. “In the future, BIPV will no longer be confined to spandrel or overhead applications. Rather, the entire building envelope will be able to put it to use, allowing the structure to produce its own power and feed additional power into the grid system.”
Going into 2013, the BIPV market is projected to open up more as it rebounds from the great solar depression and several long-term projects hit the market. An increasing number of players in the supply chain are working together to provide solutions for the entire building envelope. Among the most important next steps for the industry is the development of finished solar modules made by continuous production from PV rolls. Developing the ability to print the PV coating directly on to steel roof cladding will enable the modules to be cost-effectively produced in large volumes.
For additional information, visit www.pikeresearch.com.