GVR Report cover Solar Cell Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Solar Cell Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Silicon Wafer, Thin Film), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, MEA), And Segment Forecasts, 2015 - 2022

  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-691-2
  • Number of Pages: 82
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Industry Insights

Global solar cell market size was estimated at 182.4 GW in 2014. Rising penetration of renewable energy sources owing to environmental benefits coupled with increasing electricity demand is expected to propel market growth. Technological advancements related to reducing manufacturing cost and to improve performance efficiency is expected to propel demand. Furthermore, rising demand for clean, reliable and environment-friendly energy source to reduce dependency on fossil fuels is expected to drive growth over the next seven years.

Numerous policies and incentives offered by various governments to support the use of solar systems are expected to open new avenues for the industry over the forecast period. Stringent governmental regulations to limit environmental impact are expected to propel the use of renewable energy sources which is expected to have a positive impact over the next seven years. Tax benefits, subsidy, net metering, financial assistance, low import duty and feed in tariff are among several schemes announced by respective governments to encourage industry growth.

Germany solar cell market

Solar cell market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to rising demand for PV systems for commercial, residential and utility applications. The industry is characterized by integration across the value chain by various companies including SunEdison, First Solar, and SolarWorld.

Rising demand for decentralized energy generation systems in developing nations will augment the penetration of solar energy in future. Over 1 billion of global population have zero or poor access to electricity. Initiatives towards off-grid electrification integrated with solar PV systems will boost the product demand in the near term.

Technological advancements along with growing production capacity will result in overall product system cost decline which may favor the industry. Rising number of residential energy storage systems with solar PV charging panels will further bolster the solar cell market growth.

Product insights

The market is segmented on the basis of products as silicon wafers and thin film. Silicon wafer is further segmented mono-crystalline and multi-crystalline. Silicon wafer segment including mono-crystalline and multi-crystalline accounted for a total share of over 90% in terms of cumulative installed capacity in 2014.

Global silicon wafer demand was over 170.0 GW in 2014 and is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Silicon wafer dominates overall market owing to abundant raw material availability coupled with high efficiencies offered as compared to other technologies. However, declining silicon production across the globe has led to raw material shortage which is expected to hamper growth over the forecast period. 

Global solar cell market

Multicrystalline silicon cells are expected to witness the fastest growth of over 25.0% from 2015 to 2022. Technological simplicity related to production process leading to lower product cost compared to its counterparts is expected to propel market growth. Furthermore, increasing demand for these cells in residential and commercial applications owing to lower initial investments as well as superior efficiency is expected to increase demand over the forecast period.

Industry participants are focusing on micro details such as crystallization and individual solar cell fabrication processes to reduce solar cell efficiency loss. German research institute, Fraunhofer ISE achieved significant efficiency for multicrystalline solar cells that convert  22.3 percent of the incident solar energy into electricity.

Thin film market accounted for over 10 GW in 2014. Thin film market is segmented by raw material including CdTe, amorphous silica, and CIGS. Growing demand for a thin film for residential and commercial applications is expected to have a positive impact on market growth. Incorporation of CIGS in construction materials such as cement conceivably makes the complete structure act as a power generation unit. Furthermore, flexibility and transparency associated with these products are expected to drive demand over the forecast period.

Furthermore, thin film solar cells containing cadmium telluride hold a substantial advantage over conventional crystalline silicon solar cells. Manufacturing CdTe solar cell is cheaper due to its significantly low raw material consumption. These cells produce low-cost electricity by absorbing sunlight at nearly the ideal wavelength. The addition of selenium prevents the photo-generated electrons from getting trapped at crystal-to-crystal boundary defects.

Regional insights

Europe solar cell demand was over 45% of global installed capacity in 2014. The presence of favorable government policies and incentives associated with PV installations is expected to augment growth over the forecast period. Growing demand for these cells in commercial and utility sector is expected to drive the market. Decreasing PV prices is expected to open new avenues for crystalline silicon modules over the forecast period. Furthermore, technological advancements related to improving operating efficiency of thin film solar cells is expected to increase its demand in residential and commercial applications. 

North America solar cell demand was estimated over 20 GW in 2014. An increasing number of PV installations on account of rising consumer awareness towards cost benefits associated with these energy systems in this region is expected to have a positive impact on the market. However, lack of incentives and federal subsidy post 2016 is expected to witness reduced installation from residential and commercial segments which are expected to hamper growth.

Photovoltaic industry in China witnessed investment worth 80.8 billion yuan in 2015, which complement the industry outlook. Chinese PV firms are aggressively expanding in emerging markets by acquiring foreign makers and building plants overseas, thereby positively influence the solar cell market size. The Government of India aims to achieve 40 GW electricity generation from the solar power technology by 2020. Increasing investment and government program towards sustainable energy will augment the market share.

Solar Cell market share insights

Key industry participants include First Solar, Inc., Yingli Solar, SunPower Corporation, SunEdison, Inc., Indosolar Limited, Tata Power Systems Limited, Sharp Corporation, Borg Inc., SolarWorld AG, GreenBrilliance, Canadian Solar Inc. and Trina Solar Limited.Leading market players follow several strategic techniques including  new product development, mergers & acquisitions, regional expansion and partnership & collaboration to expand their foothold in the market. For instance, in April 2013, U.S. firm First Solar acquired a solar photovoltaic (PV) technology ‘TetraSun’ from JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, TetraSun management and other investors in order to strengthen company’s solar business. TetraSun offers 21% more conversion efficiencies than conventional multicrystalline silicon solar

The market is integrated across various stages of the value chain particularly from raw material to module manufacturing. Companies operating independently cater to end-users either through distribution channels or their supply outlets (distribution/sales centers). In such cases, distributors act as a bridge between companies and end-users, by providing aftermarket services, technology assistance, and logistics. 

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2012 - 2014

Forecast period

2015 - 2022

Market representation                                    

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2015 to 2022

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, MEA and Latin America

Country scope

U.S., Germany, China

Report coverage        

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, and growth factors and trends

15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analysts working days)

If you need specific market information, which is not currently within the scope of the report, we will provide it to you as a part of customization


Segments covered in the report

This report forecasts revenue and revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis on the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global drilling fluids market on the basis of product, end-use, and region.

  • Product Outlook (Installed capacity, MW, 2012 - 2022)

    • Silicon wafer

      •   Monocrystalline

      •   Multicrystalline

    • Thin film

      •     Cadmium telluride (CdTe)

      •    Amorphous silica (a-Si)

      •     Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS)

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2012 - 2022)

    • North America

      • U.S.

    • Europe

      • Germany

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

    • Latin America

    • MEA

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