As the PV industry is faced with growing demand for cost reduction, the low manufacturing costs of thin-film solar cells make them increasingly attractive compared with silicon solar cells, leading to aggressive R&D efforts. Currently, thin-film solar cells are in their infancy but they only require low energy during the manufacturing process, which allows reduction in material costs and helps shorten payback period. In addition to economic feasibility, the ease of scaling-up enables further cost reduction. In this sense, they are expected to become comparable to silicon solar cells up to a certain point in the near future.
Especially, organic solar cells have made remarkable progress for the last several years and are considered to be one of the most promising candidates with the great growth potential in the future PV industry. The organic solar cell market remains quite modest compared with the current PV market but is expected to show steady growth and such applications as BIPVs or tents and clothing will boost the growth.
Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical, which takes the lead in organic solar cell technology, began commercialization this year. Although large-area modules using flexible substrates show relatively low efficiency, but there are growing expectations for commercialization with rapid progress in the continuous printing technology and efficiency of large-area flexible modules.
Major companies conducting research on organic solar cells are currently operating pilot lines, aiming at mass-production by 2017-2018. Organic solar cells are expected to begin full-fledged mass-production in 2017 with estimated capacity of 76MW, which is expected to increase rapidly to 124MW in 2018 and 194MW in 2020.
Now that organic solar cells open up possibilities for cost reduction and efficiency of solar cell modules, backed by constant R&D efforts, SNE Research has recently published a new report titled "OPV Technology Development and Patenting Trend by Company"
This report provides a comprehensive overview of the global OPV domain, including technology development and patenting trends as well as market forecasts.
Patent Trend Analysis
Market Analysis and Forecast
Technology Development Trend
Material Development Trend
Device and Modularization Technology
Printing Process Technology and Development Trend