Global building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) market is expected to witness considerable growth on account of rising environmental concerns and consequent demand for harnessing alternative energy. BIPV has increasingly been incorporated into new buildings or retrofitted into existing ones to serve as tertiary energy sources. BIPV are generally installed in exposed roofs, facades and building skylights to harness maximum solar energy and convert it into electricity. Various federal subsidies encouraging application of BIPV to eliminate pollution and carbon emissions are expected to boost global market growth. Development of flexible and thin film BIPV modules is anticipated to further augment the BIPV demand in aesthetic surroundings and interior designs applications. Increasing demand for clean alternative energy sources is also expected to further drive the global BIPV market.
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BIPV market has been classified on the basis of product into cladding, shading, glazing panels, facade, glass, pitched and flat roof. Classifications on the basis of application include commercial, residential and industrial buildings. Cost and installation complications have limited the BIPV application to mainly commercial or industrial sectors. On the basis of technology, BIPV includes crystalline silicon and thin film technologies. Increasing residential application in the form of solar water heaters among others are expected to provide opportunities for growth of global market. Various obstacles such as stringent regulations and standards for installation, seasonal functionality, short life-span and high costs associated with BIPV are expected to hamper the global market growth.
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Major regions that have adopted BIPV technology include North America, with maximum demand from developed countries such as U.S. and Canada. Demand in the European market originates mostly from UK, Germany, France and Spain. Heavy investments in BIPV technology have been made in Asia Pacific countries such as India, Australia, China and Japan. Indian government initiative to establish off-grid solar power generation capabilities in rural areas is expected to further incentivize Asia Pacific market growth.
Major industry participants are actively involved in strategic alliances to commercialize BIPV technology in order to offer it to the mass public at affordable costs. Key industry players operating in the global BIPV market include First Solar, Konarka Technologies Inc., Ertex Solar GmBH, Kyocera Corp., Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd and Centrosolar AG.
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