Solar Photovoltaic (PV) glass is a technology that converts solar energy into electric energy, also providing protection against environmental elements such as dust, moisture, and snow. Solar photovoltaic glass is increasingly being used for building integrated photovoltaics. PV glass is being integrated into buildings in the form of windows, roof panels, and building panels. Potential applications of solar PV glass include smartphones, vehicles, and greenhouses. This glass helps reduce the carbon footprint, which helps maintain environmentally-friendly standards of clean energy. Increasing demand for clean energy, due to growing awareness regarding global warming in turn, is increasing the demand for PV glass, thus boosting growth of the market.

Increasing adoption of this PV glass, helps block heat, in turn reducing air-conditioning costs. Variance in photovoltaic efficiency and light penetration among these products enables multiple options for architectural design. Thus the demand for PV glass is rapidly increasing in the architectural sector. Major challenge faced by this market includes high capital expenditure for installation of solar energy equipment. Also, availability of high quality solar photovoltaic glass is a detrimental factor to market growth.

Solar Photovoltaic Glass Market Taxonomy

On the basis of modules, the solar photovoltaic glass market is segmented as-

  • Thin Film Modules
  • Crystalline Modules
  • Amorphous Modules

On the basis of type of glass, the solar photovoltaic glass market is segmented as-

  • Anti-reflective Coated Glass
  • Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) Coated Glass
  • Tempered Glass
  • Others

On the basis of application, the solar photovoltaic glass market is segmented as-

  • Residential
    • Building Panels
    • Roof Panels
    • Water Heaters
    • Cookers
    • Battery Chargers
    • Others
  • Non-residential
    • Building Panels
    • Roof Panels
    • Solar Lasers
    • Solar Vehicles
    • Space Crafts and Space Stations
    • Others
  • Utility
    • Solar Power Plants

Anti-reflective coating reduces reflection, which in turn, increases the amount of light absorbed by the solar cells. This results in increased energy production. TCO coated glass optimizes light transmission into the solar modules. Tempered glass is strongest glass, which is made by heating glass to 600OC and then cooling it with airflow. Use of such tough glass, makes PV glass strong enough to sustain environmental factors such as stormy and rainy weather.

Solar PV glasses are used in both residential and non-residential applications. However, high installation cost involved with solar photovoltaic glass is further hindering growth of the solar photovoltaic glass market. Furthermore, R&D and innovation is expected to result in the development of low-cost production of solar PV glass, in turn, reducing costs of such glass, thus is expected to gain more traction. This in turn, is expected to boost market growth. Increasing number of government initiatives such as Paris Climate Agreement to provide solar energy, is influencing growth of this market.

Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing market for solar photovoltaic glass. The growing population and insufficient energy supply in the region is expected to boost demand for PV glass, in turn, creating a lucrative environment for market growth. China is the growth engine in the region, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), China installed over 34 GW of solar capacity in 2016 to mark itself as the leading user of solar panel in the world. Also, Japan witnessed a 4.3% growth in solar energy production in 2016, according to Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The European Union aims to meet 12% of its energy requirements using photovoltaic glass by 2020. This is expected to provide significant growth to the market in Europe.

Key Developments:

For instance, in June 2018, AGC Solar partnered with Ubiquitous Energy for strategic development for transparent solar glass technology. Ubiquitous Energy’s transparent solar coating, ‘’ClearView Power’’ has ability to absorb and converts non-visible light (ultraviolet and infrared) to electricity while transmitting visible light. These coatings can be directly applied over the solar glass. This partnership is expected to strengthen the technological portfolio of AGC Solar in solar photovoltaic glass market.

In July 2016, AGC Solar launched two new products ipasol neutral 70/37 and ipasol light grey 60/33. Ipasol neutral 70/37's solar-protection delivers high light transmission and substantially lower heat radiation whereas ipasol light grey 60/33 also delivers relatively high light transmission with an exceptionally low solar factor, allowing 60%.

For instance, in May 2018, Nippon Sheet Glass Co. invested US$ 350 billion expansion of production capacity of online TCO (transparent conductive oxide) coated glass to support the growing solar market. This expansion helped Nippon Sheet Glass Co. to expand its product portfolio of transparent conductive oxide coated glass in global market.

In June 2011, Saint-Gobain installed new production facility for manufacturing solar glass in India with an investment of US$ 140 million

Key Players in the Solar Photovoltaic Glass Market

Key players operating in the solar photovoltaic glass market include AGC Solar, Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd., Taiwan Glass Ind. Corp., Xinyi Solar Holdings Ltd., Sisecam Flat Glass, Guardian Glass, Saint-Gobain Solar, Borosil Glass Works Ltd., Flat Glass Co., Ltd., Interfloat Corporation, Guangdong Golden Glass Technologies, Hecker Glastechnik GmbH & Co. KG, F solar GmbH, Emmvee Toughened Glass Private Limited, and Euroglas.

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