Lux Research: Solar PV materials offer opportunities for profit in a growing market

Lux Research notes that innovative materials can have a dramatic effect on PV module efficiency, which allows these modules to command higher prices
Lux Research notes that innovative materials can have a dramatic effect on PV module efficiency, which allows these modules to command higher prices

Lux Research (Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.) has released a new report which predicts that the market for materials used in solar photovoltaic (PV) module production will increase 9.2% annually through 2018, with “double-digit” profit margins for certain materials.

In “Photovoltaic Materials Opportunities Beyond Commoditization” Lux argues that the PV module market is not truly commoditized. The result is that the sale of some materials is more profitable than others, including certain gases, metals, polymers, process chemicals and solvents.

“While certain solar materials are commodities, many others still offer opportunity for differentiation and high margins through added performance,” said Lux Research Analyst Fatima Toor, the lead author of the report.

“Innovations in high-performance encapsulants, backsheets and metalization pastes enable higher profitability by allowing module makers to improve efficiency and command higher prices.”

Other materials including frontsheet glass, polysilicon and ethylene vinyl acetate are identified as offering lower profit margins.

 

DuPont leading in encapsulant patents

Lux Research notes that innovative PV materials, including PV backsheets and metalization pastes can have a “dramatic effect” on module efficiency, which in turn means these modules can command higher prices which are passed on to materials suppliers.

The company finds that DuPont leads in patents for solar encapsulants, with 87 granted or applied patents. Dow Corning, LG Chemical and Dai Nippon Printing lead in silicon-based encapsulants, with Dow Chemical holding intellectual property (IP) for liquid acrylic encapsulants, and BASF holding IP for ultraviolet light stabilizers for EVA- and non-EVA based encapsulants.

 

2013-11-21 | Courtesy: Lux Research | solarserver.com © Heindl Server GmbH

Our editorial selection of breaking solar news is published at:
http://www.solarserver.com/solar-magazine/solar-news/top-solar-news.html