NanoMarkets Blog
Thoughts on Organic PV
Published: January 29, 2015 Category: Renewable Energy

We are at once wary yet still guardedly optimistic about OPV's prospects materializing within our eight-year forecast period. While we peg the OPV market value at next to nothing today, we expect it will quickly ramp up through the midrange and toward the end of our forecast period: $129 million by 2019, and $517 million by 2022. Largely this is based on assumptions that today's fledgling pilot production efforts and proposed full-scale factory plans (starting with Heliatek) will indeed proceed on proposed schedules without further significant delays.

Some individual trends we highlight in this new report include:

  • Improvements in cell architecture, from improved hole and electron extraction layers to tandem- and triple-junction cells
  • Much work also focuses on new materials underpinning those OPV performance improvements, such as new transparent electrodes and non-fullerene acceptor materials
  • Efforts to tighten up the production processes for OPV, from large-area monolithic panels to creating thick junctions to reduce defect density and improve yields
  • We also sum up some suggestions for what improvements must be achieved in OPV in the next couple of years, to obtain the higher performances everyone says must happen — and to get OPV module production costs down to below $0.50/watt in another five years.

The key to success for OPV is no mystery: companies must integrate new materials and device structures smoothly and quickly, and ramp them into manufacturing as soon and smoothly as possible. Of course that's far easier said than done, even applying some lessons from related sectors such as OLEDs. In this way our thinking hasn't really changed that much: we're encouraged by ongoing progress and a proposed medium-term scale-up. Yet at the same time, OPV really can't slip much further behind anymore, especially when competition seems to be pulling ahead.

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