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REPORT # Nano-521 PUBLISHED March 09, 2012
Silver in Photovoltaics 2012
  • Advanced Materials
  • Renewable Energy

    “Silver in Photovoltaics – 2012” is the latest report from NanoMarkets in our ongoing coverage of materials and markets in the photovoltaics sector. In this report, NanoMarkets examines the changing opportunities for silver materials in the dynamic PV industry. 

    The report is designed to help silver suppliers to understand how changes in the PV industry will influence their sales. It considers how suppliers of silver materials to the PV industry can hold onto market share under the difficult circumstances that PV faces today:  rapidly falling panel prices, huge pressures to continually reduce costs, and government subsidies under threat.  It also considers these challenges in light of silver’s historically high – and likely to stay high – commodity price.

    Taking into account these new dynamics, NanoMarkets identifies the considerable opportunities that are still available for silver in the PV sector and covers both conventional crystalline silicon PV and PV based on thin-film silicon, CdTe, CIGS, OPV, and DSC.  The report includes coverage of established silver pastes and inks as well as newer materials based on nanomaterials, including the latest transparent nanosilver-based electrodes. It also examines alternative scenarios for silver in PV and provides an in depth discussion of materials challenges to silver in the PV sector, especially those presented by the use of copper and aluminum.

    As with all NanoMarkets reports, this report contains detailed eight-year forecasts of the silver usage in the PV sector broken out by PV technology and how the silver is used within the PV cell itself.  The forecasts are provided in both value and volume (ounces) terms. In addition, the report discusses the strategies of key firms to watch in this important sector.

    Executive Summary:  Silver Markets in Photovoltaics Applications

    E.1 Changes in the PV Market for Silver Since the Last Report
    E.1.1 The High Price of Silver
    E.1.2 Cost Pressures in PV
    E.1.3 Shrinking Subsidies for PV
    E.1.4 So, What's Left?
    E.2 The c-Si PV Market
    E.2.1 Front-Side Grids in c-Si PV – A Key Market with Few Alternatives
    E.2.2 Competition for Silver in Backside Electrodes and Tabbing
    E.3 Shrinking Share of c-Si PV and the Rise of TFPV
    E.4 Longer-Range Prospects for Nanosilver in PV
    E.4.1 Nanosilver Transparent Conductors
    E.4.2 Nanosilver Inks and Pastes
    E.5 Winners, Losers, and Firms to Watch
    E.6 Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts for Silver in PV

    Chapter One: Introduction to Silver in PV Applications
    1.1 What's New Since the Last Report?
    1.1.1 Changes in the PV Market that Affect Silver Consumption
    1.1.2 The Effect of the High Price of Silver on Its Consumption in the PV Market
    1.1.3 So, Where is the Growth for Silver in the PV Market?
    1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report
    1.3 Methodology
    1.4 Plan of this Report

    Chapter Two: Silver Used in Photovoltaics Applications
    2.1 Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics and Silver
    2.1.1 Front-Side Electrodes and Silver Entrenchment
    2.1.2 Other Silver Applications in c-Si PV:  Back Electrodes and Tabbing
    2.2 Silver in TFPV, OPV, and DSC Applications
    2.2.1 Front Electrodes
    2.2.2 Back Electrodes and Reflectors
    2.2.3 Growing Market Share for TFPV and its Impact on Silver Consumption
    2.3 Suppliers of Silver Pastes and Inks to the PV Industry
    2.3.1 Overview of Suppliers
    2.3.2 China's Influence of the PV Silver Inks and Pastes Market
    2.3.3 Selected Supplier Profiles
    2.4 Low-Cost Alternatives that Threaten Silver
    2.5 Emerging Opportunities for Silver
    2.5.1 Nanosilver Transparent Electrodes
    2.5.2 Application Areas Likely to Adopt Nanosilver-Based Transparent Conductors
    2.5.3 Suppliers of Nanosilver-Based Transparent Conductors
    2.5.4 Nanosilver Inks for High-Resolution Printing
    2.5.5 Suppliers of Nanosilver Inks and Pastes
    2.6 Key Points from this Chapter

    Chapter Three: Eight-Year forecasts of Silver in PV applications
    3.1 Forecasting Methodology and Assumptions
    3.1.1 Data Sources
    3.1.2 Scope of the Forecast
    3.1.3 Pricing Assumptions
    3.1.4 Alternative Scenarios
    3.2 Eight-Year Forecasts of Silver by PV Technology
    3.2.1 c-Si PV
    3.2.2 Thin-Film Si PV
    3.2.3 CdTe PV
    3.2.4 CIGS PV
    3.2.5 OPV
    3.2.6 DSC PV
    3.4 Eight-Year Forecasts by Silver Material
    3.4.1 Silver Pastes and Inks – Conventional vs. Nano-Inks
    3.4.2 Transparent Nanosilver Electrodes – Prospects for ITO and TCO Replacement
    3.5 Summaries of Eight-Year Forecasts for Silver in PV Applications
    3.5.1 Summary by PV Cell Application
    3.5.2 Summary by Silver Material
    3.5.3 Summary by PV Technology
    Abbreviations and Acronyms Used In this Report
    About the Author

    List of Exhibits

    Exhibit E-1: Average annual silver commodity prices in real and inflation-adjusted terms (2008 basis) from 1970 to today.
    Exhibit E-2: Summary of Silver in PV Applications, 2012-2019 (Millions of Troy Ounces)
    Exhibit 2-1: Relative Number of PV Silver Ink And Paste Suppliers by Region or Country
    Exhibit 2-2 Selected Suppliers Of Silver Inks and/or Pastes for PV Applications
    Exhibit 2-3: Suitability of Nanosilver-Based Transparent Conductors for Different PV Technologies
    Exhibit 2-4: List of Selected Nanosilver Ink and Paste Suppliers to the PV Market
    Exhibit 3-1: Average Prices of Silver Products in PV Applications Compared to the Average Silver Commodity Price 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-2: Summary of Silver Consumption and Value in c-Si PV Technologies, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-3: Summary of Silver Consumption and Value in Thin-Film Silicon PV Technologies, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-4: Summary of Silver Consumption and Value in CdTe PV Technologies, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-5: Summary of Silver Consumption and Value in CIGS PV Technologies, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-6: Summary of Silver Consumption and Value in OPV Technologies, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-7: Summary of Silver Consumption and Value in DSC Technologies, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-8: Silver Consumption and Value of Silver Inks and Pastes in c-Si PV, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-9: Silver Consumption and Value of Silver Inks and Pastes in TFPV, OPV, and DSC PV, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-10: Summary of Silver Consumption and Value of Silver in Inks and Pastes in All PV by PV Type, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-11: Summary of Silver Consumption and Value of Silver in Inks and Pastes in All PV by Material Type, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-12: Summary of Nanosilver Transparent Conductors in PV Applications 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-13: Summary of Silver in PV  by Cell Application, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-14: Summary of Silver in PV  by Material Type, 2012-2019
    Exhibit 3-15: Summary of Silver in PV Applications, 2012-2019 (Millions of Troy Ounces)


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