The market for organic photovoltaic cells will generate nearly $1 billion in revenues by 2015, according to a report by NanoMarkets, an industry analyst firm based in Glen Allen, Va. The report notes that 2008 is the first year that organic PV products will be available commercially and that progress in the organic PV sector is attributable to the substantial venture capital and strategic investments that have been made in recent years.
The report, Organic Photovoltaic Markets, said that although conversion efficiencies of commercial PV cells based on organic materials do not yet match inorganic approaches, organic solar cells cost less. Dye-sensitive cells (DSCs) are already the lowest cost of all printed PV cells and “pure” organic approaches to PV promise even more significant price reductions.
Also, recent advances in materials and cell architectures for organic PV have led to improved efficiencies that will advance organic PV further in the marketplace. The addition of fullerenes to more conventional organic PV materials will help to double the efficiency of organic-based cells in the next couple of years. Novel dyes for DSC are leading to 11% efficiencies in the lab. Meanwhile, progress is also being made in the development of bulk heterojunction architectures.