The global concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) market is estimated to grow at a CAGR around 14% from 2016 to 2024 (forecast period). It will reach nearly USD 2.1 billion by 2024. The market had a size of around USD 790 million in 2014. Wider ‘CPV’ adoption can boost industry demand. Installation of low concentration photovoltaic (LCPV) & high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) systems is predicted to generate decent returns in the near future.
Price wars within the industry and reliability of CPV systems may further market growth. Withdrawal of governmental subsidies and costs associated with CPV installations should hinder the concentrator photovoltaic market. But nations with high direct normal irradiation support the industry by signing power purchase agreements (PPA) with local manufacturers & consumers.
CPV junctions rely on curved mirrors or lenses to lead sunlight onto solar cells. Solar cells are paired with expensive optics made of glass or acrylics to increase their efficiency. They are grouped in a series of 3, 4, or 5 cells stacked on each other. These cells are known as multi-junction solar cells.
Future customers will opt for CPV systems due to their high efficiency. The global concentrator photovoltaic market is split according to concentration levels, technologies, applications, and regions. By concentration levels, the industry is bifurcated into high and low. High led with respect to demand in 2014. It should exhibit ‘greater than average’ growth over the next eight years.
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Refractors and reflectors constitute the technologies. The former is further divided into fresnel lens and luminescent concentrators. Reflectors and parabolic mirrors are the sub-segments of reflectors. Fresnel lenses in circular shapes have a concentration ratio of 500, while lenses in cylindrical shapes have lower concentration ratios. Luminescent concentrators use refraction to direct the light towards solar cells. SolFocus has achieved a concentration ratio of 500 using parabolic mirrors on dual-axis tracking systems. Reflectors have a concentration ratio of 1.5-2.5.
Applications comprise utility-scale, commercial, and others. Commercial is predicted to grow the fastest due to high demand for power across Asia Pacific. Utility-scale CPV plants can supply power to businesses at peak hours. This could facilitate the growth of solar energy industry.
Regions encompass Latin America, North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East & Africa (MEA). China and Southeast Asia are projected to reign during the forecast period. Both these regions accounted for energy consumption between 80-90 MW (megawatt) in 2015. They were followed by the U.S., South Europe, and Central America.
Combined installations of the U.S., South Europe, and Central America added up to nearly 110 MW the same year. Europe dominated the concentrator photovoltaic market in 2014, with Spain at the forefront. Spain received high direct normal irradiance (DNI) in 2014. Delay in the construction of energy plants by ‘Tenaska Solar’ has led to low demand in the U.S.
Some of the prominent players in the worldwide concentrator photovoltaic market are Morgan Solar, Amonix Inc., Zytech Solar, SunPower Corporation, and Semprius Inc. Mergers & acquisitions and collaborations are common expansion strategies employed by them. For instance, ‘Morgan Solar’ has allied with ‘Enbridge’ to build a solar plant (in Alberta) with a capacity of 10 MW. The project is said to raise the company’s annual capacity to 100 MW.
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