Report: PV materials snap back to growth

After plummeting below $5B in 2009, sales of materials used in solar cell manufacturing are back on track to surpass $6B within four years, even as costs of polysilicon continue to drop, according to a recent report from Techcet Group.

June 16, 2010 – After plummeting below $5B in 2009, sales of materials used in solar cell manufacturing are back on track to surpass $6B within four years, even as costs of polysilicon continue to drop, according to a recent report from Techcet Group.

The 2009 recession was felt harder in some areas — e.g. cutting wires and silver inks took the biggest hit, the group says. Polysilicon, which is 60% of direct material costs for single-crystal and polycrystalline silicon solar cells, should slip to about 50% of costs over the next five years, as prices decline by half from 2008 through 2013. This has “significantly slowed” the market for amorphous silicon (a-Si) technology, since a-Si’s main promise is of lower manufacturing costs than c-Si, offsetting lower cell efficiencies. Solar-grade polysilicon, currently still largely produced in Japan, will see new manufacturing capacity coming online in the US, India, and Dubai, the firm notes.

Other direct/indirect manufacturing materials are scattered around the globe — with a group of new suppliers rising out of China, near that region’s high-growth PV fabs.

The report, “Solar Cell Process Materials 2010,” is now available by contacting the Techcet Group.

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