February 2009: CIGS Thin-Film Manufacturing Players and Cost Models


Thin film PV, and copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) in particular, offers reduced materials usage, theoretically lower manufacturing costs, lower weight, and smaller size compared to wafered silicon, as well as addressing new applications in BIPV and flexible substrates. Yet in 2008, thin film accounted for only 17% of global module production and CIGS accounted for less than 3% of global module production.

The purported high efficiency and low cost of the CIGS material system has spurred enormous capital investment in companies, both private and public, to develop large-scale CIGS solar manufacturing. Given the projected growth of the thin film market and the very few players currently active, there is significant market share to gain. Yet to date CIGS PV manufacturers have not demonstrated reliable, consistent production and continue to operate in the shadow of solutions based on amorphous silicon and cadmium telluride.

CIGS is a difficult materials system - its manufacture and behavior have not yet been mastered as evidenced by the very few CIGS firms in true commercial production. Almost every CIGS firm has experienced schedule delays, personnel shake-ups, or massive re-working of processes and technological approaches. CIGS also offers the potential for low-cost and innovative manufacturing techniques such as roll-to-roll processes in low or no-vacuum. But with few exceptions – these potentials remain just that – potentials, with little experience of any real ramp up.

In this issue, we explore in detail the challenges and opportunities CIGS manufacturers face over the 5 years, and how their promise can largely be fulfilled as they take share from amorphous silicon and mid-tier multicrystalline PV competitors and establish an important new sector of the global PV market.

Purchase the report for more tables and charts, including:

  • Top 5 VC Investment in CIGS
  • Projected Module Efficiency by Technology
  • CIGS Manufacturers
  • Efficiencies of Select CIGS Firms
  • Module Production by Technology
  • 2010 PV Module Manufacturing Costs and Prices

Companies Profiled in This Issue:

VC Investment in January 2009:

Sample chart:

Purchase the report for investment data in other sectors, including:

  • Biofuels and Gasification
  • Automotive and Transportation Technologies
  • Solar
  • Water
  • EE, DR, and Smart Grid
  • Wind Power and Ocean Power
  • Lighting
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