Global dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC) market value was estimated to be USD 49.6 million in 2014 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of over 12% from 2015 to 2022. Growing consumer awareness regarding adverse environmental impact associated with fossil fuel-based power plants, coupled with increasing dependence on unconventional energy resources is anticipated to drive the market growth over the forecast period.
Technological innovations have resulted in good price to performance ratio of these solar cells and are anticipated to impact positively industry growth. The DSSC technology is anticipated to address the three basic energy needs of future including economy growth, environment protection, and energy security.
Advantages associated with DSSC including cost effectiveness, ability to provide electricity at low light conditions and high performance ratio are anticipated to drive demand over the forecast period. DSSC are manufactured using a roll printing technique and offer various additional benefits as compared to the conventional glass-based systems including flexibility and transparency.
Expensive materials including platinum and ruthenium which are used in DSSC production have been difficult to eliminate. R&D to use cost-effective and natural dyes as sensitizers including skins of pressed grapes are anticipated to be well suited for this purpose. Furthermore, natural dyes are usually non-toxic and fully biodegradable.
Liquid electrolyte present in these cells poses sealing and long-term durability problems. This has been the major challenge for DSSC market participants over past few years owing to rising concerns regarding toxicity and VOC emissions. Efforts have been made towards developing alternatives to liquid electrolytes including quasi-solid-state and solid-state electrolytes.
Ionic liquids such as, bis (imidazolium) iodides, propargyl-3-methylimidazolium iodide and 1-ethyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium are quasi-solid-state electrolytes that can overcome the leakage problems and volatilization of liquid electrolytes. The European Union (EU) has constantly been focusing on reducing emissions by subsidizing and stimulating the use of renewable energy sources.
The EU is committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions with a target of 20% renewable energy by 2020 and has mandates for zero energy buildings. This initiative is expected to lower and meet energy needs of buildings to a large extent with renewable energies. Such favorable initiatives by governments are anticipated to drive the DSSC market over the forecast period.
Portable charging was the largest application segment and accounted for 33.0% of revenue share in 2014 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.6% from 2015 to 2022. Growing DSSC demand in portable charging owing to its ability to provide optimum wattage in these applications is anticipated to drive the market over the forecast period.
DSSC application in building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and building applied photovoltaics (BAPV) is expected to witness significant growth to reach a net worth exceeding USD 30 million by 2022. Growing demand to cater increasing energy requirements for residential areas including water heating and roof-top panels is anticipated to drive the market growth over the forecast period.
Initiatives such as zero energy buildings to reduce carbon footprints by the European Union are anticipated to drive demand over the forecast period. DSSC demand in automotive integrated photovoltaics (AIPV) is expected to witness average growth over the forecast period. Growing consumer demand for interior lighting and ambiance in vehicles is expected to drive energy requirements in automobiles.
Cost effective DSSC modules are used in the automotive sector to meet energy requirements. Growing demand for smart cars integrated with parking guidance systems is expected to drive dye solar cell demand in AIPV. Growing AIPV market, particularly in Europe and North America, is anticipated to steer the market expansion in these regions.
Europe dominated the global demand and accounted for over 35% of the total revenue share in 2014. European Commission’s 2020 targets to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote clean energy projects are expected to have provided the early impetus for product commercialization in the region.
Technological innovations along with high rate of implementation of DSSC in portable electronic and BIPV applications is estimated to steer demand in near future. Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth and is expected to gain the market share to account for over 20% of the global DSSC revenue share by 2022.
High growth in the region may be attributed to increasing consumer electronics demand coupled with increasing disposable income in emerging economies of China, Taiwan, and India. The trend to replace the conventional AA/AAA zinc-carbon batteries in small appliances with DSSC and thin film solar cell modules is expected to remain a major factor driving penetration in the region in the region.
Major industry participants are adopting various strategies such as collaboration to increase market penetration. Dyesol has been working on large-scale installations in collaboration with Tata Steel in North Wales, UK. Exeger received a USD 20 million investment and is building a 20 MW production line in Stockholm, Sweden. The company is further expected to develop DSSC incorporating its proprietary 1-dimensional photonic crystal (1DPC) technology.
Major companies operating in global dye sensitized solar cells market include 3GSolar Photovoltaics, Dyesol, Exeger Sweden AB, Fujikura Ltd., G24i Power Ltd., Konica Minolta Sensing Europe B.V., and Merck KGaA.
Other players having a significant stake in the industry include Oxford Photovoltaics, Peccell Technologies, Inc., Sharp Corporation, Solaris Nanosciences Corporation, Solaronix SA, Sony Corporation, Ricoh Company Ltd., CSIRO, and NIMS.
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