While organic photovoltaics (OPV) still hasn’t achieved escape velocity from lab results into real commercialized products, according to a new report from industry analyst firm NanoMarkets, the current window for achieving success appears to be shaping up in a medium-term scope.
New projections from the firm forecast OPV revenues to crack$500 million in revenues by 2022 — assuming the road-maps and plans of key OPV firms stay the course and are not delayed any more.
About the Report:
OPV cells have continued to draw focus of much research because of the allure of their core attributes: they are lightweight, flexible, inexpensive, highly tun-able, and potentially disposable. Yet OPV has spent the better part of a decade struggling to translate these competitive promises from labs into real-world products. Expectations for OPV have stalled over the past couple of years, not least due to the demise of its former figurehead Konarka which defined OPV’s persistent failure to make any money for investors. Meanwhile, rival thin-film PV technologies and especially dye-sensitized solar (and its newest iteration, perovskites) continue to press ahead and are arguably further along.
Despite OPV’s persistent sluggishness, NanoMarkets does see some encouraging signs that the technology really is moving closer to commercial readiness — and perhaps even knocking on the doorstep, if one believes the most optimistic views — enough to put some early market traction within reach:
Conversion efficiency levels continue to rise, now above 12% in labs and upwards of 5% in pilot production.
At least as much attention is on significantly improving lifetimes into double-digit years.
Companies such as Heliatek and Belectric (which picked up some of the Konarka technology) have picked up the mantle alongside promising startups, and some key industry partners such as AGC Glass Europe and Armor Group have strategically committed to OPV’s eventual success.
Several pilot production facilities are up and running, and recent field test installations aim to show OPV in several different iterations
In this report, we identify where money could be made in OPV over the next eight-years, given recent trends in technology and end markets. We explore the latest technical areas of improvement, and where still more is needed, in cell/module components and materials to OPV devices. We also examine the product and business strategies of the dozen or so companies who are positioning themselves in the OPV landscape, as well as the evolving expectations from the target markets of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and off-grid solar charging. The report includes detailed eight-year forecasts for OPV materials and devices, and for the various markets where we expect OPV to enter the market — or at least where proponents hope it will.
Companies discussed in this report include:
Armor Group, AGC, BASF, Belectric, CSEM Brazil, DisaSolar, Eight19, Global Photonic Energy, Heliatek, Heraeus, Merck, Mitsubishi Chemical, New Energy Technologies, Next Energy, Polyera, Solarmer, Sumitomo Chemical, and Toshiba.