Global Shipments of Photovoltaic Modules May Surpass $8 billion by 2009

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff February 28, 2005

According to a soon-to-be-released update from Business Communications Company, Norwalk, Conn., total shipments of photovoltaic (PV) modules are estimated at 973.1 megawatts in 2004 and are expected to rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 23.4% to reach 2,783.1 megawatts by 2009.

Silicon technology, which accounted for approximately 90% of the PV market in 2003, will continue to dominate through the end of our forecast period, say creator’s of the report. Multicrystalline silicon will represent the highest volume of silicon technology with shipments projected to grow at a 24.8% AAGR to reach 1,778.0 megawatts by 2009. Single crystal shipments will grow at an average annual rate of 22.9% to reach 830.8 megawatts by 2009.

Thin films, which represent an experiment in manufacturing lower cost PV modules, have slipped to less than 10% of the market. Recent improvements in their efficiency and the advent of flexible substrates will provide this technology with continued growth. Thin film PV technology accounted for 87.6 megawatts by 2004 and will grow at an AAGR of 13.4% to reach 154.6 megawatts by 2009.

New technologies, such as dye-sensitized solar cells and modules made by nanotechnology processes, will appear for commercial consumption by 2005. These revolutionary technologies are projected to account for 6.5 megawatts of PV power by the end of 2005 and grow at an average annual rate of 30.1% to reach 19.7 megawatts by 2009. Their flexibility and lower cost will help propel their growth into the next decade.

The value of worldwide shipments of modules was estimated at $4.7 billion in 2004. Future reductions in cost will dampen the growth of value at an AAGR of 11.7%, and the market will account for $8.2 billion by 2009. Economies of scale and improved production methods will account for the lower rate of growth in the value of PV shipments over our forecast period. The value of module materials was estimated at $2,919.3 million in 2004. Materials for cells and modules will grow at an average annual rate of 12% to reach $5,148.7 by 2009. Worldwide Photovoltaic Market through 2009
(Megawatts, $ Millions)

Technology 2003
2009 AAGR%

Source: BCC, Inc. Worldwide Photovoltaic Market, 2003, 2004 and 2009
(Megawatts, $ Millions)

Source: BCC, Inc.

For a copy of the complete study, RE-038V Photovoltaics: Markets and Technologies go to