Concerns over aesthetics and performance have limited the uptick of solar installations using building integrated PV (BIPV), but that will change over the next five years, with up to 4.6 gigawatts (GW) in new capacity forecast, according to a new analysis.
BIPV technologies will drive more than $2.4 billion in revenue by 2017, compared with just $606 million this year, predicts Pike Research, which is part of Navigant’s Energy Practice.
Heightened interest in energy efficiency, the rise of net-zero buildings and breakthroughs in component design are all helping drive growth.
Western Europe will be the largest market for BIPV products, as regulations calling for net-zero building construction begin to take effect. Net-zero energy buildings produce as much energy as they consume.
Notable new markets include Lithuania, Serbia, Slovenia, Poland and Ukraine in Eastern Europe; Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand in the Asia Pacific; Brazil and Chile in Latin America; and South Africa.
The US is also paying more attention to BIPV, as evidenced by the $145 million invested by the Department of Energy in the SunShot Initiative.
“The emerging BIPV market, which straddles the building industry and the solar power industry, offers a new way to develop revenue streams for both parties,” says Pike research director Kerry-Ann Adamson. “Solar suppliers have begun to partner with building and construction companies, as well as designers and architects, and have gained access to completely new markets. At the same time, building companies have started to recognize new opportunities in green buildings and in retrofitting existing homes and commercial facilities.”
Here are some of the companies to watch, says Pike:
- Dow Solar, which produces copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar tiles
- PowerFilm, which is working with French textile company Serge Ferrari on new silicon products for the architecture fabric market
- Pythagoras Solar, which is developing innovative solar PV glass units
- DyeTec Solar, a partnership between glass producer Pikington North America and Dyesol, an Australian dye-sensitized cell (DSC) materials supplier
- Heliatek, which makes small molecule-based organic PV modules
- Solantro Semiconductor, which is developing integrated nano-inverter BIPV technology that should help improve the solar energy harvest
- Tata Steel, which is developing DSC-coated steel roofing
Download a free executive summary of the BIPV report: