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iSuppli Predicts Thin-Film Technology’s Share of Solar Panel Market to Double by 2013
Source/Type: News - Staff reports

Author: CompoundSemi News Staff

November 16, 2009... Thin-film film solar cells are rapidly growing in market share, according to research firm iSuppi. iSuppli expects that thin-film will grow to account for 31 percent of the global solar panel market in terms of watts by 2013, up from 14 percent in 2008. In 2010 the average price for thin film solar panel is expected to be $1.40 compared to $2.00 expected for crystalline cells. Thin-film has the drawback of requiring 15 to 40 percent more space in terms of wattage produced, the company indicated  

“The market viability of thin-film has been solidly established by First Solar Inc. as it rockets to become the world’s top solar panel maker this year, with more than a gigawatt of production,” said Greg Sheppard, chief research officer for iSuppli. “At the same time, the company has driven its cost of production to less than 90 cents per watt, keeping its costs at approximately half the level of crystalline module producers.”

iSuppi notes that most solar panels are made of crystalline wafers with 180 to 230 microns of polysilicon. However, thin-film panels are most often made by depositing multiple layers of other materials a few micrometers in thickness on a substrate usually using chemical vapor deposition. iSuppli indicated that companies that produce various CVD systems (from which most thin-film cells types are produced) or turnkey production lines for thin-film cells will benefit from its forecasted market share increase of thin-film. Company News Release

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