Solar encapsulant is a thin-film sheet that shields a solar cell or module from external dust, moisture, and air. A solar encapsulant sheet protects the solar panel from corrosion, dust, adverse weather conditions, and delamination. It also provides optical and electrical transmissivity to solar modules.

 Solar Encapsulant Market: Overview

The global solar encapsulant market can be segmented into material, technology, application, and region. Based on material, the market can be classified into ethylene-vinyl acetate, polyvinyl butyral, polydimethylsiloxane, ionomer, and others. The others segment comprises thermoplastic polyurethane and polyolefin. The ethylene vinyl acetate segment has witnessed major growth in last few years owing to the rise in its application in photovoltaic cell lamination.

In terms of technology, the solar encapsulant market can be classified into single-crystalline silicon solar technology and thin-film solar technology. The thin-film solar technology segment can be sub-divided into cadmium telluride, copper indium gallium selenide, and amorphous silicon. The single crystalline silicon solar technology segment accounted for a dominant share of the market in 2017 owing to its advantages such as higher efficiency and lesser energy consumption as compared to other technologies.

Based on application, the solar encapsulant market can be classified into automotive, construction, electronics, and others. The construction segment account for a major share of the market in 2017 due to the rise in demand from rooftop panel systems in the construction industry.

Solar Encapsulant Market: Developments & Trends

Emergence of the thin-film solar cell technology is a major factor driving the solar encapsulant market. Thin-film solar cell technology costs lesser than the crystalline silicon solar technology. Use of the thin-film solar cell technology make bulk production of solar cells is economical. Additionally, rise in demand for Photovoltaic modules is a key factor propelling the solar encapsulant market.

Research & development in the solar cell technology is expected to create lucrative opportunities in the solar encapsulant market. Research in the solar cell technology has resulted in the development of third-generation photovoltaic cells that have the potential to overcome current efficiency and performance limits. Increasing focus of manufacturers on research & development to improve efficiency and durability of solar cells and their materials is expected to boost the solar encapsulant market.

Rise in government subsidy and market assisting programs has increased the demand for solar energy as an efficient and alternative solution to decrease carbon emission. Additionally, demand for roof top photovoltaic cell installations is increasing. This, in turn, is expected to create opportunities in the solar encapsulation market.

Degradation of solar encapsulating material is a major factor hindering the solar encapsulant market. Exposure of encapsulant materials such as ethylene vinyl acetate and polyolefin elastomer to moisture and corrosion results in the browning and deterioration of solar encapsulant materials. Degradation of solar encapsulating material decreases its ability to absorb ultraviolet rays, which results in significant power loss. Therefore, degradation of the solar encapsulating material is likely to inhibit the solar encapsulant market.

Solar Encapsulant Market: Regional Outlook

In terms of region, the global solar encapsulant market can be segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is a key region of the global market. 

The solar encapsulant market in Asia Pacific is projected to expand at a rapid pace during forecast period owing to the rise in production capacity for solar modules by major manufacturers in India and China. Significantly increase in the production of solar technologies in emerging economies such as India and China can be attributed to government subsidies and rise in mergers & acquisitions of local manufacturers. Additionally, China dominated the solar encapsulation market in Asia Pacific due to the increase in production of low-cost ethylene vinyl acetate films and application in PV solar modules. North America and Europe are majorly focused on research to maximize solar energy production. The market in Middle East & Africa is also expanding owing to increase in application of solar energy for power generation, agriculture, and architecture, which is anticipated to increase the demand for solar encapsulants.

Solar Encapsulant Market: Key Players

Key players operating in the global solar encapsulant market include Bridgestone, Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd, E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co., First Solar Gmbh, Isovoltaic Ag, Mitsubishi Plastics Inc., Renewsys Solutia Inc., Cambiosolar, Dow Corning Corporation, Evasa, Hangzhou First Pv Material Co. Ltd, Kuraray Europe Gmbh, Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello Inc., Sanvic Inc., and Specialized Technology Resources Inc.

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