Ultra-Thin Solar Cells Market size is expected to gain significant traction over 2021-2027. This is a result of the mounting adoption of these cells in varied applications, such as for powering wearable electronics and as actuators and sensors in soft robotics. Additionally, the transition to clean energy and low carbon electricity systems will further contribute to the rising popularity of ultra-thin film solar cells over the projected timeframe.
A solar cell or photovoltaic (PV) cell refers to an electrical device that can convert light energy into electrical energy via the PV effect. This device is also a form of photoelectric cell, whose resistance, voltage, current and other electrical characteristics may vary when exposed to light. Thin-film solar cells are widely used due to their low material consumption, large-area modules, shorter energy payback period, and monolithic integration, among other advantages.
Increasing reliance on renewable energy to generate electricity and tackle climate change is among the key factors propelling overall ultra-thin solar cells market growth over 2021-2027. Reliance Industries, for example, is targeting to generate at least 100 gigawatts of power from renewable sources by 2030, which could boost the need for ultra-thin silicon solar cells. The rapid development of durable and highly efficient ultra-thin organic solar cells as a substitute for silicon-based conventional films, owing to their eco-friendly and cost-effective nature, will also boost the industry share.
With regards to technology, the global ultra-thin solar cells market from the thin-film cadmium telluride solar cell segment will register appreciable revenue by 2027. This can be credited mainly to the emergence of this PV material as a cost-effective alternative to silicon.
Europe ultra-thin solar cells industry is poised to exhibit a strong growth rate through 2027, driven by the remarkable development of solar farms to generate electricity in the region, where ultra-thin solar cells are used extensively. For example, EnBW’s 187 megawatts solar power plant, Germany’s largest solar park, announced the commencement of solar power delivery into the grid in November 2020. The considerable expansion of solar capacity, low PV costs, and growing solar cell production will also provide opportunities for the regional market to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Solexant, Canrom Photovoltaics, Antec Solar Energy AG, PrimeStar Solar (First Solar), GE Energy, Xunlight Solar, Bloo Solar, Solar Frontier and Hanergy, China Nuvo Solar Energy Inc., Arendi Srl, and Sichuan Apollo Solar T&D Inc., among others are the major players operating in the ultra-thin solar cells market. Strategic mergers and acquisitions as well as new product launches are the key initiatives being undertaken by these firms to gain a competitive edge over rivals across the global market. For instance, in April 2021, 5N Plus inked an agreement to acquire Germany-based Azur Space Solar Power GmbH. This deal was aimed at developing a sustainable supply chain and enabling Azur Space to deliver ultra-thin solar cells with an average efficiency of over 35%.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has adversely impacted almost all sectors of the economy, including the solar sector. This sector has faced its share of immediate challenges, caused by the shortage of manpower, lack of equipment and parts, adherence to social distancing, and discerning expenditure by users.
However, the strong focus on decarbonization and the significant shift towards renewable energy transformation to meet climate goals in the post-pandemic world may help the solar power industry regain traction gradually, which could, in turn, aid ultra-thin solar cells industry recovery. Moreover, the commencement of trial production of novel solar PV cell technologies will also contribute to a favorable industry outlook over the foreseeable future.