MILLBURN, USA: Driven by the global demand for economically viable, renewable solar power, — expected to more than double from 2011 to 2016, — materials for crystalline silicon and thin film modules are one of the largest and fastest growing markets for suppliers of electronic materials.
A report by the expert consultants of AEI Consulting notes however, that the demand could be flat during 2012 due to challenging external environment suffering from adverse policy changes in major PV markets in Europe. The new report includes detailed insights into the demand for silicon, slurries, gases, wet chemicals, precursors, dopants, and other critical materials.
The market for chemicals and materials used in PV solar cells and modules stood at $19.7 billion in 2011, of which polysilicon accounted for 41 percent, metallic pastes 11 percent, Glass-EVA-backsheet 16 percent, saw wires and slurry 12 percent, chemicals 9 percent, and other materials for balance 11 percent.Source: AEI Consulting, USA.
The market is projected to grow to a forecasted $41.6 billion in 2016. The report notes that the share of polysilicon in the global PV materials market is expected to come down to 16 percent level by 2016 due to decrease in silicon usage thanks to technological advancements. The outlook for materials sales in 2012 will slow slightly as PV module demand in Germany adjusts to new incentive policies and module prices decline. Growth resumes in 2013 as new markets emerge, according to the industry report.