SOURCE: NanoMarkets


September 13, 2010 10:59 ET

NanoMarkets Publishes New Report on Opportunities for Silver in the PV Sector

GLEN ALLEN, VA--(Marketwire - September 13, 2010) - A new report from industry analyst firm NanoMarkets says that although the photovoltaics (PV) business has slowed in the past year, the PV industry will continue to be a major consumer of silver to the tune of about $1.0 billion annual revenues throughout the next several years. And while overall sales of silver into this sector will remain somewhat flat, NanoMarkets has identified specific areas within the PV industry where the silver industry can expect growth. 

Further details about the report, "Silver in Photovoltaics: 2010," can be found on the firm's website at This report is the only report on the market today that analyzes and quantifies the market opportunities for silver in the PV sector.

Findings from the Report

NanoMarkets' report notes that it is hard to find good substitutes for the silver in the front electrode "fingers" used on crystalline silicon PV cells or for the similar but finer grids that are sometimes applied to the transparent front electrodes of thin-film and organic PV. Silver inks will therefore remain the clear leader for making fingers and grids and as a result, the value of silver sold for front electrode applications are likely to leap by more than 50 percent by 2015 to reach almost $450 million.

The report also indicates that silver ink manufacturers are likely to shift away from generic screen pastes to higher value added products such as flexo/gravure inks for high volume PV manufacture, nanosilver inkjet inks for thinner PV substrates, and higher conductivity transparent coatings for improving the efficiency of PV panels. Although sales of such inks are negligible now, sales of silver into this sector could reach $165 million by 2015.

About the Report

This report identifies the considerable opportunities that are available for silver in the PV sector and covers both conventional crystalline silicon PV as well as PV based on thin-film silicon, CdTe, CIGS and organic absorber materials. It discusses what the impact of silver pricing changes, trends in the PV industry and in conductive ink making will mean for silver. It also examines alternative scenarios for silver in PV and provides an in depth discussion of materials challenges to silver in the PV sector, including those presented by the use of copper and aluminum.

The report also contains detailed eight-year forecasts of the silver usage in the PV sector broken out by type of PV and how the silver is used within the PV cell itself. Both value and volume (ounces) of silver used are forecasted.

About NanoMarkets:

NanoMarkets tracks and analyzes emerging market opportunities in energy and electronics markets created by developments in advanced materials. The firm has published numerous reports related to PV, printed electronics and conductive coatings. Visit for a full listing of NanoMarkets' reports and other services.

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