In this report, we develop technology roadmaps or guidelines, which forecast improvements in module efficiency, lifetime and costs over the next decade. They provide a practical insight into how the technology is likely to evolve. We also assess the merits of OPV technologies for a diverse range of market segments, including automotive, posters and point-of-purchase (PoP) advertisement, apparel, customer electronics, off-grid applications for the developing world, power generation, and building integrated photovoltaics.

The photovoltaic (PV) market remains an extremely volatile sector for suppliers. Currently, crystalline silicon devices control 85% of market, with the remainder being captured by a range of thin film PV devices including CdTe, CIGS, and a-Si. Margins are increasingly tight for on-grid technologies.

Now there is a third-wave of PV technologies entering the market. This wave consists of dye sensitised solar cells (DSSC) and organic photovoltaics (OPV). In this report, we provide a detailed assessment of the technology and markets for OPVs, which are being used where conventional PV cannot go, changing the value-added opportunity.

OPVs bring the following attributes to the market: (a) excellent form factor, (b) good performance under indoor lighting conditions, (c) low capital expenditure, and (d) potentially very low energy production costs using printable plastics. Based on these value propositions, OPVs will not only target existing markets, but will also enable new ones, which existing solutions may not have been able to address.

Not all is well with OPVs, however. The efficiency levels are low, despite the fact that the active semiconductor can be synthesised from many different molecular and polymeric materials. The lifetime is in the order of days if the device is exposed to ambient conditions and existing commercial encapsulants can extend it only to 2-3 years. The constituent materials are still in low-volume production and therefore command high prices.

In this report, we develop technology roadmaps or guidelines, which forecast improvements in module efficiency, lifetime and costs over the next decade. These roadmaps are developed based on extensive interviews with researchers, material suppliers, manufacturers and integrators around the world. They provide a practical insight into how the technology is likely to evolve.

We also assess the merits of OPV technologies for a diverse range of market segments, including automotive, posters and point-of-purchase (PoP) advertisements, apparel (clothes, sportswear, military uniforms, etc), customer electronics (e-readers, mobile phones, watches, toys, etc), off-grid applications for the developing world, power generation, and building integrated photovoltaics. For each application, we interview developers and end-users and perform detailed numerical estimates.

We estimate that the market will rise to $87 million by 2023. The market growth will be predominantly driven by electronics in apparel, posters and PoP smart labels, and off-grid developing world applications. OPVs will nonetheless remain a small player on the greater PV scene, obtaining total market shares <1.5%.

The bankruptcy of Konarka is consistent with our assessment of the technology. Konarka was a leading company in the OPV space and had raised approximately $170 million and acquired an ex Polaroid facility at a reduced price. In spite of these but consistent with our roadmaps, their technology remained an overpriced option with limited lifetime at a time when the entire PV industry was experiencing severe cost pressures and small margins. Companies like Mitsubishi, eight19 and Heliatek, profiled in detail in this report, continue with the development of organic solar cells and are preparing to enter the market place by initially targeting smaller niche markets.

Table Of Contents

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1.1. A multitude of technologies available
1.2. Roadmaps - efficiency
1.3. Roadmaps - lifetime
1.4. Roadmaps - costs
1.5. Organic Photovoltaics - selling points
1.6. Market Segments
1.7. Market Forecasts
1.8. Commercial Success- Konarka files for bankruptcy
2. INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOVOLTAICS
2.1. The Solar Spectrum
2.2. The bandgap
2.3. The 'built-in' potential
2.4. The current-voltage characteristics
2.5. Electrodes
2.6. Efficiency
3. REVIEW OF ALTERNATE PHOTOVOLTAICS TECHNOLOGIES
3.1. Crystalline Silicon
3.2. Amorphous Silicon
3.3. Cadmium Telluride
3.4. Copper Indium Gallium Selenide
3.5. Dye Sensitised Solar Cells
4. ORGANIC PHOTOVOLTAICS - TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
4.1. Organic Photovoltaics
4.2. Efficiency
4.2.1. Ways to improve the efficiency
4.2.2. Our Efficiency Roadmap
4.3. Material Options
4.3.1. Active Channel
4.3.2. Transparent Conductor
4.3.3. ITO Replacement Materials
4.3.4. Concerns over ITO
4.3.5. Not all thin film photovoltaics use ITO
4.4. Lifetime
4.4.1. The requirements for a transparent, flexible barrier
4.4.2. Approaches for solving the lifetime problem
4.4.3. Our lifetime improvement roadmap
4.5. Cost
4.5.1. Substrate
4.5.2. Barrier
4.5.3. Transparent Electrode
4.5.4. Hole Transport Layer
4.5.5. Bulk Heterojunction
4.5.6. Cathode
4.5.7. Our Price Estimate
5. MARKET ANALYSIS
5.1. Selling Points
5.1.1. Are these selling points unique?
5.1.2. Comparing Different Photovoltaic Technologies
5.2. State of the Photovoltaic Market
5.3. Poster and Point-of-Sale Advertisement
5.4. Electronics in apparel (bags, clothing sportswear, military, emergency etc.)
5.5. Vehicles
5.6. Consumer Electronics (laptops, modules, e-readers, watches, etc)
5.7. Building integrated photovoltaics and utility power generation
5.8. Off-Grid and Developing World Applications
5.9. Market Forecast
6. COMPANY PROFILES
6.1. DisaSolar
6.2. Eight19
6.3. Georgia Institute of Technology
6.4. Heliatek GmbH
6.5. Henkel
6.6. Holst Centre
6.7. Imperial College London
6.8. JX Nippon Oil and Gas
6.9. Konarka
6.10. Korea Institute of Science and Technology and Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology
6.11. Mitsubishi Corporation
6.12. National Renewable Energy Lab (USA)
6.13. Plextronics
6.14. Solarmer
6.15. SolarPress
6.16. Technical University of Denmark
6.17. TU ILmenau, Fachgebiet Experimantalphysik I
6.18. University of Erlangen
6.19. University of Manchester
6.20. University of Surrey (UK)

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