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REPORT # Nano-405 PUBLISHED August 30, 2011
Markets for Indium-Based Materials in Photovoltaics
  • Advanced Materials
  • Renewable Energy

    This report is part of NanoMarkets’ ongoing analysis of both the PV materials space and the indium industry.  In particular we discuss what the evolution of new transparent conductors and the continued growth of the PV market will mean in terms of new opportunities for the indium industry. 

    This opportunity analysis is carried out in the context of the big changes that the indium industry is going through at the present time with the recent developments in Chinese indium policy.  We also examine how new manufacturing technologies – especially solution processing — will impact the kinds of indium-based materials that will be required by the PV industry.  In addition, we examine the strategies that various firms in the PV supply chain are adopting with regard to indium-based materials.  

    Another goal of this report is to provide detailed forecasts of the markets for the various indium-containing materials considered in this report, as they apply to the photovoltaics industry. With an uncertain economy and the emergence of new PV technologies, quantitatively predicting indium use and consumption is an intricate task.  ITO especially has so many applications outside of PV that the major market forces working on it are likely to be outside the PV arena as well.  CIGS for PV cells, on the other hand, is expected to make up a significant portion of the indium market and have a large impact on its demand.  This report is international in scope.  Forecasts of indium consumption by PV technology including; crystalline silicon, thin-film silicon, CdTe, CIGS , OPV and DSC and other PV markets for indium-based materials.  Forecasts of indium consumption in PV by material type are also included.  Alternative scenarios and confidence intervals are also considered.


    Executive Summary
    E.1 Trends in Indium Use by the PV Industry in the Past Two Years
    E.1.1 Indium Use in PV Manufacturing
    E.2 Opportunities for the Indium Industry
    E.3 Opportunities for Materials Firms from Indium-Related PV Industry
    E.3.1 Sputtering Targets
    E.3.2 ITO Film
    E.3.3 Inks
    E.3.4 Materials for Electrodeposition
    E.3.5 Indium Phosphide
    E.4 Opportunities for Solar Panel Firms
    E.5 Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts

    Chapter One:  Introduction
    1.1 Background to this Report
    1.1.1 CIGS (and InP PV) as a Driver for Indium Usage
    1.1.2 ITO, Indium and PV:  A Story of Market Evolution
    1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report
    1.3 Methodology of this Report
    1.4 Plan of this Report

    Chapter Two:  Indium-Based Materials for PV Markets
    2.1 Indium: the State of an Industry
    2.1.1 Impact of Chinese Indium Policy
    2.1.2 New Sources of Indium
    2.2 ITO and its Replacements in PV
    2.2.1 Impact of Indium Pricing on ITO Pricing
    2.2.2 Types of ITO Materials:  Sputtering Targets, Films and Inks
    2.3 Usage of Indium by CIGS PV
    2.3.1 Indium-Related Materials for CIGS
    2.3.2 Suppliers of Indium-Related Materials for CIGS
    2.4 Indium Use in Next-Generation PV:  Indium Phosphide
    2.5 Safety, Health, and Environmental Concerns with Indium Production and Use
    2.6 Key Points From this Chapter

    Chapter Three:  Markets and Opportunities for Indium-Based Materials in Photovoltaics
    3.1 A Few Words of Terminology
    3.1.1 Electrodes and Reflectors
    3.1.2 “CIGS” and “CIS”
    3.2 Future Opportunities for ITO in the PV Market
    3.2.1 ITO in Thin-Film Silicon PV
    3.2.2 ITO in CdTe PV
    3.2.3 ITO in CIGS PV
    3.2.4 ITO in OPV and DSC
    3.2.5 ITO and Crystalline Silicon PV
    3.2 Absorber Material Markets for Indium-Related Materials
    3.2.1 CIGS Markets
    3.2.2 Manufacturing Factors Impacting Materials Use in CIGS
    3.3 Key Points from this Chapter

    Chapter Four: Eight-Year Forecasts of Indium in Photovoltaics
    4.1 Forecasting Methodology
    4.1.1 Data Sources
    4.1.2 Economic Assumptions
    4.1.3 Scope of Forecast
    4.1.4 Alternative Scenarios for CIGS and Indium
    4.1.5 Some Notes on Pricing
    4.2 Forecasts of Indium Consumption in PV by PV Technology
    4.2.1 Indium Consumption by Crystalline Silicon PV
    4.2.2 Indium Consumption by Thin-Film Silicon PV
    4.2.3 Indium Consumption by Cadmium Telluride PV
    4.2.4 Indium Consumption by CIGS PV
    4.2.5 Indium Consumption by OPV/DSC
    4.2.6 Indium Consumption by Other PV
    4.3 Forecasts of Indium Consumption in PV by Indium Material Type
    4.4 Summary of Forecasts of Indium Consumption in PV by Indium Material Type

    Acronyms and abbreviations used in this report

    About the author


    List of Exhibits

    Exhibit E-1  Value of Indium Consumed for the PV Industry by PV Technology ($ Millions)
    Exhibit E-2  Value of Indium Consumed for the PV Industry by PV Technology ($ Millions) 
    Exhibit 2-1  Refinery Production 
    Exhibit 2-2  Indium Price and Production Trends (Values in Metric Tons Unless Noted) 
    Exhibit 2-3  Selected Major Indium Firms in China 
    Exhibit 3-1  Printed CIGS Firms 
    Exhibit 3-2  Electrodeposited CIGS Firms 
    Exhibit 4-1  Alternative Scenarios for the Growth of CIGS vs. Other TFPV 
    Exhibit 4-2  Eight-Year Forecasts of PV Production 
    Exhibit 4-3  Indium Use in c-Si PV Cells 
    Exhibit 4-4  Indium Use in TF Si PV Cells 
    Exhibit 4-5  Indium Use in CdTe PV Cells 
    Exhibit 4-6  Indium Use in CIGS PV Cells 
    Exhibit 4-7  Indium Use in OPV/DSC Cells 
    Exhibit 4-8  Indium Use in Other PV Cells 
    Exhibit 4-9  Indium Consumption in PV by Indium Material Type (Metric Tons Indium) 
    Exhibit 4-10  Value of Indium Consumed by PV by Indium Material Type ($ Millions) 
    Exhibit 4-11  Indium Consumption by PV Technology 


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