February 28, 2011 08:08 ET

Downward Trend in Global Solar PV Module Prices to Continue Through 2015

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - February 28, 2011) - has announced the addition of GlobalData's new report, "Renewable Energy Trade Imbalance - Will WTO Scanner Revive the Situation?," to their collection of Solar Power market reports. For more information, visit

Solar cells constitute 65-75% of the total cost to manufacture a module. Therefore any change in cell prices will have a direct impact on the price of a solar module. The average global PV module price has reduced from $4.66/W (per Watt) in 2004 to $2.01/W in 2010. There was a 2.8% increase in the average module price in 2008 as the global demand exceeded supply. The average selling price of modules continued its declining trend in the last couple of years due to a reduction in production costs and increased competition. The average module price dropped by 50.9% from 2008 levels by 2010, with the increasing presence of low cost Asian producers, and the price drop was worsened by the repercussions of the global economic crisis.

The advent of new technologies and the streaming of production processes will further reduce the price of a module and improve the conversion efficiencies of a solar cell. The average selling price of a solar module will decline further and is expected to reach $1.49/W by 2015 as market participants will lower their module prices to maintain or improve their market share in the global modules market.

Global BIPV installations have expanded at a buoyant pace during 2006 to 2010, at a CAGR of 121% pushing annual installations to 682 MW in 2010 from 29 MW in 2006. GlobalData expects the global installations to maintain their growth traction during 2010 to 2015. The key driver for the growth will be the extension of the downward trend in the system prices and strong government support to the sector. Global BIPV installations are projected to reach to 2,525 MW in 2015 from 682 MW in 2010, at a CAGR of 30%.

BIPV installations have been dominated by the traditional c-Si technology that typically represents around 80-85% of the market. However, the thin film market is gaining traction due to cost advantage and increasing efficiency. GlobalData expects the thin film technology share to increase to 35% from nearly 25% in 2010. Simultaneously, the share of traditional c-Si technology will reduce to 60% from present levels of 75%. The other emerging technologies such as CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide) and CdTe (Cadmium Telluride) will account for 5% of BIPV installations.

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