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


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

Product of the Year
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
40 Under Forty: Get Recognized
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
MEP Giants Program
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
October 2018
Approaches to building engineering, 2018 Commissioning Giants, integrated project delivery, improving construction efficiency, an IPD primer, collaborative projects, NFPA 13 sprinkler systems.
September 2018
Power boiler control, Product of the Year, power generation,and integration and interoperability
August 2018
MEP Giants, lighting designs, circuit protection, ventilation systems, and more
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Data Center Design
Data centers, data closets, edge and cloud computing, co-location facilities, and similar topics are among the fastest-changing in the industry.
click me