Projections estimate the world thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV) market will reach $7.2 billion by 2015, compared to just more than $1 billion currently, according to a report from NanoMarkets LC, Glen Allen, Va. The market is being driven by the inherent advantages of TFPV, including low cost, low weight, and the ability to manufacture them on flexible substrates that can be embedded in walls, roofs, and even windows. TFPV can also operate under low-light conditions. To accommodate the growing demand, says the report, most manufacturers are ramping up production capacity and several are building plants with more than 100MW in capacity.

NanoMarkets' new report provides a complete analysis of the commercial opportunities for amorphous silicon, CIS/CIGS, DdTe, and organic/hybrid TFPV markets. It also examines the role that new encapsulation materials and transparent conductors and silicon inks will have on this market. Applications for TFPV include large projects and utilities, commercial and industrial buildings, consumer electronics, and military and emergency. The report also includes detailed eight-year forecasts of these markets, as well as profiles of the leading firms developing and marketing this emerging technology and an assessment of the impact of TFPV on government funding and subsidies in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Additional details are available on the firm's Web site.