DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Building-Integrated Photovoltaics: An Emerging Market" report to its offering.
The segment of building-integrated photovoltaics is finally beginning to emerge in the marketplace after more than 20 years of R&D and fancy showcase projects, due to the vision of leading solar technology and material developers such as Dyesol, Schott Solar, Scheuten Solar, Sunpower, and Suntech.
Exciting new products that incorporate PV modules into actual building materials such as curtain walls, windows, and roofing shingles are now available from a variety of developers in the BIPV supply chain.
Earlier generations of PV for buildings utilized solar panels mounted directly onto the building roof with minimal aesthetic considerations. This concept was replaced by building-integrated PV systems, where the PV modules actually came to replace parts of the building envelope, providing functional considerations and lowering costs.
More recently, thin-film PV technologies have begun to enable the seamless integration of PV onto buildings, and will likely succeed in markets where their superior flexibility, minimal weight, and improved ability to perform in variable lighting conditions gives them a significant competitive advantage over conventional solar technologies.
The success of creating new BIPV markets will depend on many variables, including:
1. Concerted efforts by players in the BIPV supply chain to work together towards the design and integration of solar into the building envelope;
2. Costs in $/Wp, as well as the building industry's preferred metric of $/m2, of product and power availability;
3. Development of specific standards and building codes;
4. Availability of federal and local incentives to ensure cost effectiveness;
5. Added value for consumers and architects; and
6. Ease of production and the scale at which a production plant becomes economically feasible.
For some time, thin-film solar technologies have not been at a price point to make them truly competitive with conventional solar-based panel systems that are just slapped onto buildings, but this is changing due to the current round of incentive schemes.
We expect that thin-film solar technologies will soon play a significant energy role in both the applications and the markets in which conventional solar materials are currently employed, as well as in markets where conventional solar materials are unsuitable for various reasons, such as faades, roofs and window applications.
There is some confusion regarding the definition of BIPV within both the PV industry and the building industry. We define BIPV as building-integrated PV, which requires that the building team along the entire supply chain, including architects, building designers, engineers, building owners and utility companies, work together to design and build the photovoltaics into the buildings very skin as an element, from the inception of the project onwards.
BAPV, on the other hand, is defined as building-applied PV. In this process, the photovoltaics are a retro, added to the building after construction is completed.
In 2007, the publisher produced one of the industry's first reports on BIPV; this new report builds on and updates the 2007 study, focusing on the latest generation of BIPV products and detailing current and future markets for them.
The report is intended to serve as a valuable reference guide for all companies or parties currently involved in, or seeking to participate in, the global BIPV market.