SANTA CLARITA, USA: BioSolar Inc., developer of a breakthrough technology to produce bio-based materials from renewable plant sources that reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, reported that the company has recently entered into a sales rep agreement with ShinHa, Inc, a Korean firm representing large Asian PV panel manufacturers targeting the North American solar market.
“Competition in the worldwide marketplace is working in our favor,” said Dr. David Lee, BioSolar’s CEO. “As prices for solar panels continue to drop, manufacturers are searching for alternative PV components that cost less while matching or exceeding the durability of incumbent components. Our BioBacksheet, which costs less than incumbent backsheet with similar durability, has become very appealing to large Asian PV panel manufacturers that export to the North American market. New research shows that the North America will be the fastest growing PV market over the next five years.”
“We are also benefiting from receiving USDA BioPreferred certification,” Dr. Lee continued. “Because we achieved the highest possible biobased contents rating from the USDA, we are seeing increased interest in our BioBacksheet from foreign PV panel manufacturers pursuing sales to the US government.”
The USDA BioPreferred Program operating under Presidential Executive Order 13514 mandates preferential consideration by all government agencies of products that are certified by the USDA to be substantially “green” (not petroleum based).
The solar market continues to grow dramatically; however, the future outlook for various manufacturers is changing. While U.S. PV panel manufacturers were working on technology development and manufacturing strategies, their competition, mainly in Asia, were able to line up financing and build new factories more rapidly. The Chinese government also has been developing a set of subsidies to boost solar energy production in country. As a result, silicon solar panel prices have fallen by more than 50 percent in the past two years, and pressure to cut costs continues to be intense this year as supply outstrips demand.
Though the US is not likely to be a major manufacturer of PV panels, North America is the fastest growing PV consumer market and will grow by a CAGR of 30.7 percent in annual installations during 2011-2016, according to a market research report, “Solar Power Market by PV, CSP Technologies by Installations, Price, Cost, Trade Trends & Global Forecasts” (2011 – 2016) published by MarketsandMarkets.