Market research company Fuji Keizai is predicting the global market for solar cells will grow 27% annually until 2012, when it supposedly will reach a size of $42.5 billion. In 2007, the market was worth $10.9 billion.
Fuji Keizai calculated that polycrystalline silicon solar cells accounted for 90% of the market in 2007 but says the importance of silicon in the use of solar cells will gradually decrease over the next 4 years. The market segment for thin-film silicon solar cells in particular is expected to grow nearly 10 times from 2007 to 2012.
The research company also found out that the influence of Japanese manufacturers is shrinking and that production in the US, Germany, India, China and Taiwan is picking up steam. Fuji Keizai singles out First Solar of the US as one of the most important future players in the global solar cell market. First Solar currently has production facilities in the USA and Germany and plans to open a factory in Malaysia soon.