By 2010, demand for photovoltaic modules is expected to more than triple from 2005 levels. The 531 megawatts market will be valued at $1.3 billion according to a study from The Freedonia Group, Inc.
Advances will be driven by the falling price of solar power which stems from technological innovations, reports Cleveland-based The Freedonia Group. The study, "Solar Energy Products" points to a rising level of government tax incentives and rebates at both the state and federal levels that contributes to the growth of this market.
Widespread implementation of net metering programs will also drive growth, as consumers are compensated at retail prices for any excess energy generated that flows onto the grid, the report explains.
From a material standpoint the market will be slowed down from a shortage of polysilicon, limiting the ability of manufacturers to produce enough cells to accommodate demand. However, this shortage is likely to fade by 2010 as silicon producers complete planned expansions and as newer photovoltaic technologies that use little or no silicon become more widely used. Gains will also be constrained by the rate at which cell and module manufacturers can increase production capacity.