BOULDER, Colo. - Historically, building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) have been relegated to a niche market because solar modules and panels have simply cost too much and have been too difficult to install on residential and commercial roofs as well as building walls, windows, and other parts of the building structure. Additionally, production of BIPV products with appealing aesthetics has been limited. However, according to a new report from Pike Research, BIPV and building-applied photovoltaics (BAPV) market dynamics will change beginning in 2010, and the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that installed capacity will grow more than tenfold by 2016, approaching 2.4 gigawatts (GW) worldwide in that year compared to just 215 megawatts (MW) in 2009. Pike Research forecasts that this growth will generate annual wholesale market revenues of $4 billion by 2016, under a base case scenario.
“Rapidly falling cost per watt will be a major driver of BIPV and BAPV installations in the coming years,” says senior analyst Dave Cavanaugh. “In addition, rooftop installations are becoming much easier with the market entry of new, high-efficiency CIGS-technology panels and shingles. At the same time, the aesthetic appeal of BIPV and BAPV is improving with the introduction of solar crystalline-silicon modules and thin film tiles and shingles that blend into building facades, atria and rooftops.”
Cavanaugh adds that other key growth drivers include newly-instituted generous BIPV/BAPV feed-in tariffs in countries such as Italy, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, and the Canadian province of Ontario, and he believes it is likely that the United States will institute BIPV/BAPV incentives beginning in 2011. Additional factors that are likely to fuel adoption of BIPV/BAPV are efficiency improvements in both c-Si modules and flexible thin film panels and shingles, an enhanced supply chain for BIPV/BAPV solar products, much easier rooftop installation, and an increasing desire to “go green” by owners of residences and commercial buildings.
Pike Research’s report, “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 includes base case and upside scenario forecasts for BIPV/BAPV installed capacity by world region and technology, along with forecasts of wholesale market revenues through 2016. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.