The solar energy sector has had some ups and downs lately, but it looks like the future is bright for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). According to a new report from Pike Research, the worldwide market for BIPV and building-applied photovoltaics (BAPV) will quadruple over the next five years, growing from $606 million in 2012 to more than $2.4 billion in 2017.
The report, entitled “Building Integrated Photovoltaics”, examines the expanding global markets for BIPV and BAPV, including a comprehensive analysis of demand drivers and economics, technology issues, and key industry players. The report provides detailed profiles of 53 companies in the sector and offers a review of current government policies and financial incentives.
It states that things look promising for BIPV, which is surprising considering that until recently, aesthetic and performance concerns limited the ability of architects to incorporate the technology into their building designs. However there has been a recent boon in energy-efficient, flexible, and transparent solar materials on the market, making BIPV more feasible. The study concludes that this increase in new technology and interest in BIPV could drive the worldwide BIPV market to reach $3.7 billion by 2017.
“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 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.”
While BIPV products will expand around the world, Western Europe will be the largest market for the products. Notable new markets for BIPV that are likely to emerge through 2017 include Eastern Europe (Lithuania, Serbia, Slovenia, Poland, and Ukraine), Asia Pacific (especially Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand), Latin America (Brazil and Chile), and South Africa. While the solar industry has faced numerous challenges in the United States, the U.S. government is paying greater attention to BIPV, as shown by the Department of Energy’s approval of an additional $145 million in funding for the SunShot Initiative.
An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.
Images: US Mission Geneva