16 September 2010


Building-integrated PV installed capacity to grow tenfold to 2.4GW by 2016

Historically, building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) have been relegated to a niche market because solar modules and panels have cost too much and been too difficult to install on residential and commercial roofs as well as building walls, windows, and other parts of the building structure. Also, production of BIPV products with appealing aesthetics has been limited.

However, starting this year, BIPV and building-applied photovoltaics (BAPV) market dynamics are changing, according to a new report from market analyst firm Pike Research, which forecasts that installed capacity worldwide will grow more than tenfold from just 215MW in 2009 to nearly 2.4GW by 2016, generating annual wholesale market revenues of $4bn 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 [copper indium gallium diselenide] panels and shingles,” he adds. “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.”

Other key growth drivers include newly instituted generous BIPV/BAPV feed-in tariffs in countries such as Italy, Japan, France, the UK, and the Canadian province of Ontario, and Cavanaugh believes it is likely that the USA 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, the report concludes.

See related items:

Emerging building-integrated photovoltaics market accelerates

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