Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets has issued a new report titled, “Building Attached Photovoltaics Markets” that sees solid near term opportunities for the BAPV market.

It predicts the market will grow from $1.9bn this year to a peak of $5.9bn in 2017 before being surpassed by building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

The report analyses and pinpoints the opportunities that are likely to emerge in the BAPV market in the next few years. Within the report we quantify those opportunities in a series of forecast charts and tables that are provided in both value and volume terms. Volume shipments are forecasted in terms of area covered and MW shipped. Breakouts in the forecasts are provided by type of building, type of BAPV products roofing and key absorber materials used. In addition, we project the nations and regions that will generate the most revenues for BAPV.

The report also addresses both the kinds of buildings and the parts of buildings that BAPV products should be targeted and how manufacturers of BAPV can make the best transition to the time when BIPV surpasses BAPV in market dominance.

According to NanoMarkets’s new report, BAPV represents an immediate revenue opportunity for PV firms; $1.9bn in revenues this year growing to $4.6bn by 2015 and peaking at $5.9bn in 2017. While BAPV cannot match BIPV with respect to cost improvements on regular solar panels, BAPV does comes close to BIPV in terms of its ability to provide new/improved aesthetics and so can capitalise on potential customers who are put off by the conventional PV panel on a rack look.

Most BAPV today is implemented by simply disguising solar panels with architectural features or glazing them into windows or curtain wall. However, specialised BAPV products are beginning to appear on the market. The most common example of such a product is a roofing overlay product equipped with special clips and fasteners that make overlays easier to install. In addition, these special roofing overlay products often use lightweight thin-film PV materials that reduce the need for additional roofing support. The entire BAPV roofing overlay market is expected to reach $910m by 2015.

BAPV is already found in curtain walls, but NanoMarkets expects to find more BAPV in walls in the future. The drivers for this growth are that in many instances the roofs of commercial buildings are too cluttered to install sufficient PV, making the walls a good second choice. Even if the roof is not too cluttered, the roof may still not offer enough space for PV. In multistory buildings, the roof area is low compared with the amount of space in the building that must be powered. Also for zero-energy buildings, PV power demands can be quite considerable and both roofs and walls may have to be used for PV. Although negligible now, NanoMarkets expects total BAPV wall revenues to reach $480m by 2015.

Gases play a key role in the construction and installation of the technology used in solar panels. The boost in revenues in the US market will also, in turn, boost profits made by industrial gas companies.