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PV Market Expected To Reach $32 Billion by 2012

The global market for photovoltaics is expected to be worth $12.9 billion in 2007 and is expected to increase to over $32.3 billion by 2012, a compound average annual growth rate of 14.9 percent, according to a new report, Photovoltaics: Global Markets & Technologies, from BCC Research .Global shipments of PV cells/modules reached 2,875.1 megawatts (MW) in 2007. They are projected to grow by 28.6 percent to reach 3,697.3 MW by 2007, and by a CAGR of 30 percent to reach 13,724.4 MW by 2013.

The rapid growth of PV will be driven by the global demand for energy of all kinds, the potential problems of climate change, the renewable features of solar energy and improvements in PV technology and materials. PV will increasingly be made part of industrial and living structures.

Silicon technology, which accounted for about 89 percent of the market in 2007, will continue to dominate through the end of our forecast period. Multicrystalline silicon will grow at a 285 percent rate through 2013. Recent improvements in this traditional technology and its reliability will keep it in the forefront, but silicon will represent only 79 percent of the market by 2013.

Thin films, while only 10 percent of the market, will grow at a 45 percent rate through 2013. Improvements in efficiencies and the use of these materials on flexible substrates will account for their rapid growth. Thin films will account for almost 19 percent of the PV market by the end of our forecast period.

New technologies, such as nanostructured thin films and silicon and dye-sensitized solar cells, accounted for just under 0.5 percent of the market in 2007 but will grow at a 34 percent rate to reach 19.2 MW in 2008 and then exhibit 50 percent annual growth to achieve 145.7 MW by 2013. Research and development efforts on these new materials have been constant and results are just now starting to appear.

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