Global solar Photovoltaic (PV) backsheet installed capacity has been increasing annually, from 1,596 Megawatt (MW) in 2006 to 21,473 MW in 2011 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 69%. Europe is the largest solar PV backsheet market in the world, accounting for 72.1% of global backsheet installed capacity. Growth in the global PV backsheet market is currently being driven by the financial incentives being offered by federal and state governments. Reduced production costs, together with technological advances and government policies, have been the most prominent factors contributing to the expansion of the sector. This, along with the Research and Development (R&D) initiatives being undertaken by various research institutes, has contributed to the growth in installed capacity. Global solar PV power backsheet installed capacity is expected to increase from 21,473 MW in 2011 to reach 36,259 MW by the end of 2020, at a CAGR of 6%.
The global backsheet market is growing at a fast pace, supported by strong growth in the solar PV industry in many countries, such as Germany, Italy, China and the US. Global solar PV backsheet market revenues increased from an estimated $596.5m in 2008 to $1.6 billion in 2011, at a CAGR of 38.8%. The high growth of the market for PV backsheets can be attributed to the growth of the Asia-Pacific market. The ongoing Euro zone crisis has had a negative impact on the European solar PV market, with solar backsheet revenues expected to decline globally in 2012. However, the global market is expected to recover from 2012 onwards, due to the solar power growth plans of a number of Asia-Pacific countries. With emerging markets such as India, China, the Republic of Korea, Canada, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Greece and Bulgaria increasing their presence in the PV market, it is expected that the market will recover to reach estimated revenues of $1.4 billion by 2020.
The German company KREMPEL is currently the global leader in the area of backsheet manufacturing. The company manufactured an equivalent of between 63 and 69 million meters square of backsheet in 2011, and supplies its produce to major module manufacturers. KREMPEL is followed by major manufacturers such as TOYO Aluminium, Madico, Isovoltaic, Coveme and Jolywood.
The solar PV backsheet market in North America is dominated by the US, which accounted for over 85.3% of annual additions in 2011. PV backsheet installed capacity in North America increased from 129 MW in 2006 to 1,697 MW in 2011, at a CAGR of 67%. Financial incentives provided by utility, state and federal programs are the major drivers for the PV backsheet market in North America. The North American market for solar PV backsheets is expected to have increased to 4,579 MW by 2020, at a CAGR of 12% between 2011 and 2020.
The US is one of the largest solar PV backsheets market in the world, along with Germany, Italy and China. Solar PV backsheet market revenues increased from an estimated $22.5m in 2008 to $108.3m in 2011, at a CAGR of 68.7%. Generous tariffs and financial packages, such as the recently-extended Investment Tax Credits (ITC) and Production Tax Credits (PTC) supporting solar PV, are reconfiguring market dynamics and revising market revenues for PV backsheets in the US market. Federal and state incentives are expected to attract long-term investments and sustainable revenue growth for the PV backsheet market. Taking these factors into consideration, the PV backsheet market in the US is expected to have reached estimated revenues of $125m by 2020, at a forecast CAGR of 1.6%.
Canada is an import-oriented market for solar backsheets. The growth of the PV backsheet market in Canada is currently being driven by government initiatives for the development of solar PV. There are no backsheet manufacturers currently located in Canada, as the PV industry is still in the nascent stages. As a result of the introduction of the Ontario Green Energy Act in 2009, solar PV backsheet installations increased from 4 MW in 2006 to 240 MW in 2011, at a CAGR of 131%. The local content requirement clause has boosted the market for domestic modules and has resulted in an increase in solar PV backsheets in Canada. Annual solar PV installations over the forecast period are expected to record consistent growth, with backsheet capacity expected to increase from 240 MW in 2011 to 937 MW by 2020.
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