Photovoltaic (PV) technology converts energy from solar radiation directly into electricity using semiconductor materials. It has no mechanical moving parts, thus, it has a prolonged service life, requiring minimal maintenance. Photovoltaic technology is used in renewable energy systems range from small-scale systems for lighting and pumping to large-scale systems for whole buildings and utility-scale photovoltaic farms.
Continuous supply of energy and comparatively lower expenses of photovoltaic energy than conventional energy sources have made PV technology lucrative for application in industrial sectors such as telecommunication, aerospace & defense, agriculture, and automotive. This factor is expected to escalate market growth during the forecast period.
In addition, increase in popularity of photovoltaic technology owing to its employment in electricity generation, to provide electricity for residential buildings, at a low cost is expected to drive the growth of the global photovoltaic market. Furthermore, high concentrated PV (HCPV) is widely used in military and aerospace applications such as in the manufacturing of solar panels for satellites. The growth in the aerospace & defense sector across the Asia Pacific region and an increase in indigenous development satellites have led to an increase in demand for photovoltaic technology and is thus positively affecting the market growth.
Based on technology, the market size is segmented into thin-film, mono-Si, and multi-Si. Thin-film photovoltaic modules are manufactured using silicon, cadmium, and copper as raw materials, and are incorporated in solar panels to produce electricity. Thin-film photovoltaic technology is available in three different types, including cadmium telluride (CdTe), copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), and amorphous thin-film silicon (a-Si, TF-Si). Monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si) technology is a silicon-based discrete component that uses integrated circuits. This technology is used in modern electronic equipment. Multi-crystalline silicon (multi-Si) technology comprises high-purity, polycrystalline form of silicon and contains multiple layers of the same. This technology is mostly used in standalone systems.
Based on the system, the market size is bifurcated into high concentrated PV (HCPV) and low concentrated PV (LCPV). The HCPV system is used to generate electricity by using lenses or curved mirrors to gather a huge amount of sunlight on a small area with highly proficient multi-Junction (MJ) solar cells. This system concentrates sunlight to intensify it, equals to that of 1,000 suns or more. It is majorly used in industrial, telecom or mobile towers, rural electrification, and aerospace & defense sectors. LCPV cell converts the solar energy into direct current, which is used in semiconductor materials.
The initiative Akshay Urja taken by the Government of India, which includes installation of 300,000 solar streetlights and 2,500,000 numbers of solar study lamps is anticipated to provide lucrative opportunities in northeastern states. Also, solar power plants of individual size up to 25 kWp will be promoted in remote areas where grid power has not reached. This factor is anticipated to increase the demand for photovoltaic energy, thereby accelerating market growth.
Based on application, the market is categorized into industrial, residential, and commercial. In residential applications, PV technology is widely used in rooftop solar installations for providing stored energy for residential buildings at a low cost. Commercially, PV technology is used in solar buses and cars to provide electricity to run the vehicle motor. Besides, it finds application in the agricultural sector and is used in solar drying equipment to dry crops faster and to generate electricity to run water pumps. Moreover, in the industrial sector, PV technology is used in the aerospace & defense sector for the manufacturing of solar panels to be used in satellites.
Additionally, in the telecommunication industry, it is widely used in PV modules, providing required charging current for batteries. The photovoltaic market trends in terms of usage are expected to grow across all application owing to an increase in usage of photovoltaic technology to generate electricity and to reduce carbon footprint across the globe.
Region-wise, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA. Asia-Pacific has emerged as a global leader in the photovoltaic market, due to a surge in energy demand in the developing economies such as India, China, and Thailand, owing to decrease in dependency on conventional energy sources, including coal & crude oil, and increase in urbanization.
Also, development of rural electrification activities in countries such as India, China, and Thailand and rise in government initiatives to promote the use of renewable energy are anticipated to boost the photovoltaic market growth from 2019 to 2026.