Increasing Demand for Photovoltaic Modules Driving Solar Encapsulant Market

In 2017, the global solar encapsulant market reached a value of $1,036.0 million and is expected to attain $4,555.4 million in 2023, advancing at a 28.4% CAGR during the forecast period (2018-2023).

The market is growing due to the advancements in the solar cell technology, increasing awareness regarding advantages of the solar cell technology, and rising requirement of photovoltaic (PV) modules. A thin film which protects a solar cell or module from external air, moisture, and dust and provides protection and durability against delamination and corrosion is referred to as solar encapsulant.

When material is taken into consideration, the solar encapsulant market is categorized into polyvinyl butyral (PVB), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyolefin elastomer, and others (which include ionomers, polyurethane, and polydimethylsiloxane). EVA dominated the market during the historical period (2013–2017), accounting for a volume share of 74.2% in 2017, and is predicted to retain its position during the forecast period. This was because EVA provides excellent toughness & elasticity, strong protection, and great adhesive strength to solar cells. The PVB category is expected to grow at the fastest pace during the forecast period.

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In terms of application, the solar encapsulant market is divided into automotive, electronics, construction, and others (which include defense and aerospace). Out of these, the construction division accounted for the major share of the market during the historical period and is further predicted to account for the largest share of the market during the forecast period, both in terms of value and volume. The reason for this is the surging demand for PV modules from the commercial and residential sectors.

The rising demand for PV modules is a key driving factor of the solar encapsulant market. PV is the most extensively utilized solar technology, wherein there is a direct conversion of sunlight into electrical energy via a device called a solar cell. The requirement for PV modules is rising due to their several advantages, such as the provision of clean and Green Energy, economic viability, and environmental sustainability. Solar encapsulants are utilized for providing adhesion between the top and rear surfaces of the PV modules for protecting the module from high temperature, external stress, and moisture.

The increasing awareness regarding the advantages of solar cell technology is a major driving factor of the solar encapsulant market. The solar cell technology provides clean energy to municipal buildings, offices, and schools. The technology is increasingly becoming a popular choice among consumers, owing to the rising awareness about advancements in the solar cell technology and decreased cost of raw material and availability of state tax credits. These factors are resulting in a rising demand for PV modules, which, in turn, is resulting in the growing requirement for solar encapsulants.

The emergence of thin-film solar cell technology is a key trend that is being witnessed in the solar encapsulant market. The crystalline silicon solar technology is generally utilized for producing crystalline silicon solar modules. However, the fragile nature and high production cost of crystalline silicon-based solar modules have resulted in the need for cost-efficient solar module production technologies. Attributed to this, the manufacturers are focusing on developing improved and cost-efficient technologies. One such technology is thin-film solar cell technology, which is cost-effective and helps reduce the consumption of raw material during the production of solar cell.

Hence, the market is growing due to the rising awareness regarding the advantages of solar cell technology and the growing demand for PV modules.

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