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.
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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.
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 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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