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Thin Film Photovoltaics Market - By Material, By Technology (Single-junction Thin Film, Multi-junction Thin Film, Flexible Thin Film, Transparent Thin Film), By Installation Type, By Application, By End-use Industry & Forecast 2024 - 2032

  • Report ID: GMI9923
  • Published Date: Jun 2024
  • Report Format: PDF

Thin Film Photovoltaics Market Size

Thin Film Photovoltaics Market was valued at USD 7.14 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 16.5% between 2024 and 2032. The market is expected to increase significantly due to urbanization and infrastructural development.

Thin Film Photovoltaics Market

The need for efficient and sustainable energy solutions is rising as infrastructure projects and cities grow. Thin film photovoltaics offer adaptability, lightness, and compatibility with a wide range of building materials. These features make them suited for Building-integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) applications, such as solar windows, facades, and rooftops, which may produce power while acting as structural components. The need for thin film photovoltaic technology is fueled in part by the growth of smart cities and green building projects, as developers and urban planners look to integrate renewable energy sources into both new and existing buildings. Thin film photovoltaics' ability to mix well with urban architecture without compromising aesthetics or functionality makes them a preferred choice in the context of modern urbanization and infrastructure growth.

Critical growth factors for the thin film photovoltaics market include higher R&D spending and technological innovation. Thin film photovoltaic cells are becoming more efficient, long-lasting, and reasonably priced owing to ongoing developments in material science, nanotechnology, and manufacturing processes. Breakthroughs in materials, such as Cadmium Telluride (CDTE), evolving perovskite and organic photovoltaics, and Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS), are pushing the limits of thin film technology. Thin film photovoltaics is now more competitive with conventional silicon-based solar panels owing to these advancements, which also enhance lifespans, lower production costs, and improve energy conversion efficiency. Large R&D expenditures are also encouraging the creation of new applications and enhancing manufacturing techniques, both of which are necessary for increasing production and satisfying the expanding demand globally.

For instance, in March 2021, Siemens AG, a major player operating in the global market, acquired approximately 99.22 equity shares of C&S Electric Ltd. from its promoters for 2,100 million. Companies operating in the thin film photovoltaic market domain, such as Evolar, have been integrating digital technologies into their business processes to boost the efficiency of their products.

The comparatively lower efficiency of thin film solar cells in comparison to conventional silicon-based solar panels is one of the prominent drawbacks of the thin film photovoltaics sector. In photovoltaics, conversion efficiency refers to the percentage of solar energy that can be transformed into electrical power. Higher conversion efficiencies are often seen in silicon-based solar panels, especially in monocrystalline and polycrystalline varieties, which frequently reach 20% or higher in commercial products. On the other hand, thin film photovoltaic technologies, which include amorphous silicon, CIGS, and CDTE, often give lower efficiencies, within the range of 10–15%.

Due to this efficiency difference, thin film photovoltaic panels produce less electricity than their silicon counterparts. Consequently, a higher surface area is needed for thin film photovoltaic installations to provide the same amount of power. This might be a major drawback in situations where there is limited space, such as on urban rooftops or in small-scale installations, where it is essential to maximize power output per unit area. Furthermore, as more panels and related infrastructure may be required to produce desired energy outputs, the lower efficiency could influence the overall cost-effectiveness of thin film photovoltaic systems by raising installation and maintenance costs.

Thin Film Photovoltaics Market Trends

Persistent progress in material science is one of the most important developments in the thin film photovoltaics industry. To increase the thin film solar cells' stability, efficiency, and affordability, scientists and producers are creating new materials and refining the existing ones. New developments in materials, such as quantum dots, perovskites, and organic photovoltaics, are showing encouraging results in terms of raising energy conversion efficiency and lengthening thin film photovoltaic modules' operational lives. Through increased market acceptance and the introduction of new applications, these developments are essential to making thin film technology more competitive with conventional silicon-based solar panels.

BIPV is another significant trend influencing the market. Owing to their adaptability, low weight, and aesthetic appearance, thin film photovoltaics are suited for installation in windows, roofs, facades, and other building structural elements. This tendency is especially strong in metropolitan locations, given the restricted space and the rising need for sustainable, energy-efficient structures. In addition to producing electricity, BIPV improves a building's architectural quality and energy efficiency, which supports the growth of green buildings and smart city projects.

A trend toward more adaptable and user-friendly solar energy solutions is emerging, boosting the use of thin film photovoltaics in flexible and portable solar applications. Thin film photovoltaics can be produced on flexible substrates, which makes it suitable for usage in a variety of goods such as integrated solar textiles, wearable electronics, and portable solar chargers. The need for off-grid power options and the growing desire to incorporate renewable energy into common consumer goods are driving this trend. Flexible thin film photovoltaic panels can be used in a variety of contexts including remote and urban ones owing to their portability and versatility, which increases their market potential.

Thin Film Photovoltaics Market Analysis

Thin Film Photovoltaics Market Size, By Technology, 2022-2032 (USD Billion)

Based on technology, the market is divided into single-junction thin film, multi-junction thin film, flexible thin film, and transparent thin film. The transparent thin film segment is expected to register a CAGR of over 15% during the forecast period.

  • Transparent thin film solar panels can be fitted effortlessly into windows, facades, and other building features without impeding views or changing the aesthetics. This ability has a broad range of uses, especially in urban settings and architectural design, where it is critical to maximize available space for solar energy production. To accomplish both transparency and energy conversion efficiency, transparent thin film photovoltaic technology makes use of materials including Organic Photovoltaics (OPV), perovskites, and other cutting-edge chemicals.
  • The technology is attracting interest and investment since transparent thin film photovoltaics have the potential to be used in commonplace items such as windows, electronic displays, and even wearable gadgets. Transparent thin film photovoltaics are becoming a major component in the future of renewable energy integration as cities and industries strive for greater sustainability and work toward producing solar power without sacrificing functionality or design.
Thin Film Photovoltaics Market Share, By Material, 2023

Based on material, the market is divided into cadmium telluride (CDTE), amorphous silicon (A-SI), copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), perovskite, organic PV, Copper Zinc Tin Sulfide (CZTS), quantum dot thin film solar cells, and all-silicon tandem. The CDTE segment dominated the global market with a revenue of over USD 950 million By 2032.

  • Compared to other thin film technologies, CDTE solar cells provide excellent efficiency and inexpensive manufacturing costs. This efficiency is ascribed to CDTE's band gap, which makes it one of the most effective thin-film technologies on the market. A comparatively simple and economical production technique, which frequently involves the deposition of CDTE on glass or flexible substrates, is used to make CDTE thin film solar panels. Large-scale solar power plants find CDTE modules appealing due to their reasonable pricing and plentiful supply of the material, further adding to their simplicity.
  • In addition, CDTE panels are quite robust and function well in a variety of environmental circumstances such as hot and dim environments. Their durability makes them appealing for application in a variety of geographic regions and harsh climates where reliable energy production is necessary. However, the CDTE market has its share of difficulties. In CDTE solar panels, the manufacturing, usage, disposal, and recycling of cadmium—a hazardous heavy metal—raises concerns about the environment and human health. To allay these worries and guarantee the long-term application of CDTE technology, stringent laws and recycling programs are required.
China Thin Film Photovoltaics Market Size, 2022-2032 (USD Million)

Asia Pacific dominated the global thin film photovoltaics market in 2023, accounting for a share of over 35%. The region’s dominance can be attributed to its strong commitment to adopting renewable energy sources, fast industrialization, and urbanization. India, China, Japan, South Korea, and other countries are leading the way in the deployment of thin film photovoltaic technology due to supportive regulations from the government, significant expenditures made in renewable energy infrastructure, and rising public awareness of the need for sustainable energy alternatives.

India is quickly increasing its solar capacity, especially thin film photovoltaics, owing to its enormous solar potential and strong renewable energy targets. Thin film photovoltaic technology is being deployed primarily in large-scale solar farms and rural electrification projects, owing to the Indian government's efforts to promote the use of solar energy and foreign collaborations and investments.

The U.S. also holds a strong presence in the thin film photovoltaic sector owing to its strong renewable energy policies, large investments in R&D, and steadfast commitment to lowering carbon emissions. The regional market’s characteristics include big utility projects, BIPV, and cutting-edge uses in the commercial and residential sectors. Numerous top businesses and academic institutions at the forefront of thin-film photovoltaic technology are based in the U.S. Leading U.S. companies, such as First Solar, are at the forefront of CDTE thin film technology, consistently improving the scalability and efficiency of their solar panels. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funds innovative research & innovation in thin film photovoltaics through initiatives, such as the SunShot Initiative, aiming to make solar energy cost-competitive with traditional energy sources.

In September 2023, the U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) released the advancing U.S. thin-film solar photovoltaics funding opportunities, which awarded USD 36 million for R&D activities and demonstration projects on two major thin-film photovoltaic technologies. These policies and incentives are bolstering the adoption of solar panels and increasing the share of the thin film solar cell market.

Japan is another major player in the thin film PV market owing to its small area and high energy consumption. The nation's emphasis on thin-film solar cell applications in urban environments and BIPV is boosting the adoption of flexible and lightweight thin film technology. The adoption of thin film photovoltaics is further accelerated by the Japanese government's strong support for clean energy initiatives and financing for research.

In addition, South Korea is a significant market owing to its strong focus on technology development and excellent manufacturing skills. South Korean enterprises are making significant investments in R&D to improve the efficiency and robustness of thin film photovoltaic goods and gain a competitive edge in the international market. This region’s market growth depends heavily on government initiatives that boost renewable energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

China is a key player in the Asia Pacific thin film PV market as it is the region's biggest producer and consumer of solar energy. The Chinese government's strong ambitions for renewable energy and its supportive policies including tax incentives and subsidies have sparked significant investments in thin film photovoltaic manufacturing and deployment. Chinese enterprises are leading the development of thin film photovoltaic technologies, prioritizing cost reduction and efficiency enhancement via large-scale manufacturing and technological innovation.

Overall, the Asia Pacific region offers a favorable environment for the growth of the thin film photovoltaics market owing to its rapid economic growth, progressive policies, and technological advancements. The regional market for thin film photovoltaic solutions is anticipated to increase, making a substantial contribution to the global solar energy landscape, as countries in the region emphasize renewable energy to satisfy their expanding energy needs and environmental responsibilities.

Thin Film Photovoltaics Market Share

First Solar, Inc. and Solar Frontier K.K. hold a share of over 10% in the thin film photovoltaics market. First Solar, Inc. focuses on CDTE technology and ongoing innovation, maintaining a substantial market position in the thin film photovoltaics industry. It is one of the world's biggest producers of thin-film photovoltaic modules, renowned for its highly efficient products, affordable solutions, and sophisticated manufacturing techniques. The company's substantial R&D expenditures have improved the efficiency and robustness of its CDTE solar panels significantly, offering a competitive and alluring substitute for conventional silicon-based panels.

Solar Frontier K.K., a division of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. and a major participant in the thin film photovoltaics industry, commands a sizable market share owing to its knowledge of CIGS technology. Its modules offer great resistance to high temperatures, high conversion efficiency, and superior performance in low light, making them well-suited for a wide range of environmental circumstances. The company’s strategic R&D investments have enabled ongoing improvements in CIGS technology.

Thin Film Photovoltaics Market Companies

Major players operating in the thin film photovoltaics industry are:

  • First Solar, Inc.
  • Solar Frontier K.K.
  • Hanergy Thin Film Power Group
  • MiaSolé Hi-Tech Corp.
  • Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc.
  • Solibro GmbH
  • Global Solar Energy, Inc.          

Thin Film Photovoltaics Industry News

  • In June 2023, First Solar, Inc. revealed plans to produce a limited several of the first bifacial solar panels in history using cutting-edge thin-film semiconductors. At Intersolar Europe in Munich, Germany, a fully operational pre-commercial Series 6 Plus Bifacial photovoltaic (PV) module will make its industry premiere & be on show at first Solar’s stand.
  • In April 2024, Uppsala University set a new world record in the generation of electrical energy from CIGS solar cells, achieving an efficiency rate of 23.64%. An independent institute verified this achievement and the findings have been published in the esteemed journal, Nature Energy.

The thin film photovoltaics market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecasts in terms of revenue (USD Billion) from 2021 to 2032, for the following segments:

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Market, By Material

  • Cadmium telluride (CDTE)
  • Amorphous silicon (A-SI)
  • Copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS)
  • Perovskite
  • Organic PV
  • Copper zinc tin sulfide (CZTS)
  • Quantum dot thin film solar cells
  • All-silicon tandem

Market, By Technology

  • Single-junction thin film
  • Multi-junction thin film
  • Flexible thin film
  • Transparent thin film

Market, By Installation Type

  • Ground-mounted
  • Rooftop
  • Floating solar
  • Building-integrated (BIPV)

Market, By Application

  • Utility-scale power generation
  • Building-integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)
  • Wearable devices
  • Others

Market, By End-use Industry

  • Agricultural
  • Automotive
  • Commercial & Industrial
  • Consumer electronics
  • Residential
  • Utility
  • Others

The above information is provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • UK
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • ANZ
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • MEA
    • UAE
    • Saudi Arabia
    • South Africa
    • Rest of MEA


Authors: Suraj Gujar, Sandeep Ugale

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

Industry size for thin film photovoltaics was USD 7.14 billion in 2023 and is projected to expand at over 16.5% CAGR from 2024 to 2032, due to urbanization and infrastructural development.

The transparent technology segment in the thin film photovoltaics industry is projected to expand at over 15% CAGR from 2024 to 2032, as these films can be fitted effortlessly into windows, facades, and other building features without impeding views or changing the aesthetics.

The cadmium telluride (CDTE) material segment in the thin film photovoltaics industry is projected to surpass USD 950 million by 2032, as they provide excellent efficiency and inexpensive manufacturing costs.

Asia Pacific industry accounted for over 35% share in 2023 and is estimated to depict substantial gains between 2024 and 2032, due to the strong commitment to adopting renewable energy sources, fast industrialization, and urbanization in the region.

Thin Film Photovoltaics Market Scope

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2023
  • Companies covered: 24
  • Tables & Figures: 425
  • Countries covered: 21
  • Pages: 210
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