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Research and Markets: An Essential Report on the Global Solar Photovoltaic Cell (SPVC) Industry.

DUBLIN -- Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/22b859/global_solar_photo) has announced the addition of the "Global Solar Photovoltaic Cell (SPVC) Industry" report to their offering.

Rising energy and oil prices in light of the economic slowdown, and a heightened awareness of the environment, have led to an increase in global incentives for the diversification of energy sources and greater utilization of renewable energy segments. In this context, one of the important renewable energy segments is solar power, which at present is witnessing a stupendous growth in installed base as well as a doubling of demand.

The total installed capacity for solar photovoltaic cells (SPVC) in the moderate scenario (as outlined by GreenPeace), wherein commitment from country governments is assumed to continue albeit at a low level, is expected to exceed 5,200 MW by 2010. Developing economies such as China, India and Taiwan are expected to contribute the maximum to this capacity addition. However, there is some risk of the utilization levels plummeting in the event of incentives being discontinued or reduced, given that capacity already exceeds demand and heavy initial investments can deter demand.

High competition and achieving cost effectiveness through innovation are the broad characteristics of the SPVC industry. At the end of 2008, there were more than 150 manufacturers of solar cells and modules, in the global SPVC industry. Companies such as Q-Cells, Sharp and Kyocera are major participants in the industry and the top 10 players in the industry account for over half of its production. Competition is also equally rife between crystalline silicon solar cell manufacturers and thin film solar module manufacturers. Thin-film technology is expected to dominate the production of SPVCs in the coming years, judging by the cost advantages and increasing acceptance levels. From the demand perspective, most of the consumption of SPVC came from Europe in 2008 with Spain and Germany being the largest consumers.

An analysis on the assignees holding the patent families identified Sharp Corp, Kyocera Corp, Sanyo Electric Co Ltd. and Canon Inc. as dominating patenting players. These four companies proved their dominating presence not only in the home ground (Japan) but also in the US and EP.

Although subsidies and incentives have created some large solar-based electric power installations, the true potential for large solar-based electric power installations has not been fully realized. Inventors are on road to launching light, low-cost thin film growth techniques, innovative cell structures and simplified process flows, which are expected to drive efficiencies higher while lowering overall solar cell and module manufacturing costs. This can be evidenced from the patent filing activity which shows that more inventions are filed in Third and Fourth Generation solar cells rather than the conventional First and Second generation solar cells.

A study of the patents reveals that over the next five years, solar cell wafer thickness reduction to less than 200 micron wafers and a long-term assumed price of about $20/kg for solar-grade polysilicon is possible, and this may reduce the polysilicon feedstock cost (in g/Wp) by about a factor of four to eight to about $0.10/Wp to $0.20/Wp. Thus, ongoing technological investments and ensuing developments will enable solar cell manufacturers to use novel solar cell designs that can vastly reduce their manufacturing cost and increase their ease of installation.

Key Topics Covered:

Executive Summary

Introduction

Market Scenario

* Supply Scenario

* Demand Scenario

* Competitive Landscape

Emerging Players

Growth Drivers for the Industry

Intellectual Property Scenario

* Analysis on first-filing (priority year) of the SPVC patent families filed in the period 2003-2008

* Japanese Have Been Leaders with Innovative Technologies

* H01L Trends to be the Prominent Primary IPC in the Priority Years 2003-2008

* About 40% of Inventions Focus on Reducing Cost of Manufacturing/Fabrication of SPVCs

* Clear Shift Towards Third-Generation Cells

* Change in Arrangements of SPVC - A Solution for Reducing the Weight of SPVCs

* More Inventions towards Ease in Installation (Mounting) of SPVC

* Valuable Patent Families of Top Assignees in the Leading IPC viz. H01L

* Valuable Inventions by Individual Inventors

* Universities/Research Institutes' Contribution in SPVC IP Space

* Makita Hidehisa- The Leading Inventor

* Prolific Inventors of Leading Assignees

* SPVC Patenting Activity - Geographical Overview

* Major Assignees across Geographies

* European SPVC IP Space - Very Low First Filings!

* United States-Sharp Drop in First Filings in 2008

* Japan-Declining Dominance in the SPVC Landscape

Outlook

Assumptions & Limitations

APPENDIX I - ABOUT SCOPE e-KNOWLEDGE CENTER

Companies Mentioned:

* Sharp Corporation

* Kyocera Corporation

* First Solar

* Sanyo Electric Company

* Kaneka Solartech

* Timinico

* IOSIL Energy Corporation

* Suniva

* JA Solar Holdings Co.

* Solar Power Industries (SPI)

* Sulfurcell

* Greenvolts

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/22b859/global_solar_photo
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 3, 2009
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