Dye Sensitized Cell Markets - 2014 Chapter 1
The recent announcement of dye sensitized cells (DSCs) based on perovskite material that provide a 15 percent efficiency shows that DSCs could be about to hit the PV mainstream. With such new developments in mind, this new report forecasts and analyzes the market for DSCs over the next eight years. NanoMarkets has been covering the ups and downs of the DSC sector for the past five years and we believe that DSC is entering into a new era. DSC technology will soon be able to provide efficiencies close to those of commercial thin-film solar panels. And, for the first time for years, DSC will be competing in a stable market environment for solar panels. In the report, we examine how the leading players in the DSC space plan to generate revenues in this new business environment and how their addressable markets will grow in the next decade. Our analysis covers all the product/market areas that are being seriously suggested for DSC and shows how these markets are likely to evolve. Because of its huge revenue potential we are especially interested in the building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) sector and we also take a serious look at the opportunity for selling DSC products into the developing world; a market that several DSC firms have specifically targeted. This report also appraises the commercial significance of recent technical developments in the DSC space, especially the development of improved electrolytes both solid-state and liquid. As always with NanoMarkets reports, this report also contains granular, eight-year forecasts of DSC panel and materials shipments in volume and value terms, broken down by application wherever possible. Materials covered include the critical components of the cells and modules; host, dye, and electrolyte materials; transparent and nontransparent electrode materials; and encapsulation materials.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Dye Sensitized Cell Markets - 2014 Chapter 1
Dye Sensitized Cell Markets—2014
Published January 2014
Dye Sensitized Cell Markets–2014
The recent announcement of dye sensitized cells (DSCs) based on perovskite material
that provide a 15 percent efficiency shows that DSCs could be about to hit the PV
mainstream. With such new developments in mind, this new report forecasts and
analyzes the market for DSCs over the next eight years. NanoMarkets has been
covering the ups and downs of the DSC sector for the past five years and we believe
that DSC is entering into a new era. DSC technology will soon be able to provide
efficiencies close to those of commercial thin-film solar panels. And, for the first time
for years, DSC will be competing in a stable market environment for solar panels.
In the report, we examine how the leading players in the DSC space plan to generate
revenues in this new business environment and how their addressable markets will
grow in the next decade. Our analysis covers all the product/market areas that are
being seriously suggested for DSC and shows how these markets are likely to evolve.
Because of its huge revenue potential we are especially interested in the buildingintegrated photovoltaics (BIPV) sector and we also take a serious look at the
opportunity for selling DSC products into the developing world; a market that several
DSC firms have specifically targeted. This report also appraises the commercial
significance of recent technical developments in the DSC space, especially the
development of improved electrolytes both solid-state and liquid.
As always with NanoMarkets' reports, this report also contains granular, eight-year
forecasts of DSC panel and materials shipments in volume and value terms, broken
down by application wherever possible. Materials covered include the critical
components of the cells and modules; host, dye, and electrolyte materials; transparent
and nontransparent electrode materials; and encapsulation materials.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
E.1 Opportunities for DSC Panel Makers
E.2 Opportunities for Materials Suppliers
E.3 Eight Firms to Watch in the DSC Space
E.4 Eight-Year Forecast Summary for DSC Markets
Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background to this Report
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1.2 Objective and Scope of this Report
1.3 Methodology of this Report
1.3.1 Forecasting Methodology
1.3.2 Data Sources
1.3.3 Alternative Scenarios
1.4 Plan of this Report
Chapter Two: Important Recent Technical Trends in Dye Sensitized Cells
2.1.2 Solid-State: Beyond Iodine
2.2 Electrode Materials
2.2.1 Better Dopants for TiO2
2.3 Future Use of Quantum Dots in DSCs
2.4 Encapsulation and Substrates
2.5 Eight-Year Projections of DSC Efficiencies
2.5.1 Comparison to Other Thin-Film and Organic PV
2.6 Key Points Made in this Chapter
Chapter Three: Dye Sensitized Cells Markets and Forecasts
3.1 Indoor Applications
3.1.1 Solar Chargers
3.1.2 Wireless Keyboards
3.1.4 Eight-Year Forecast of Indoor DSC Applications
3.2 Building-Integrated Photovoltaics
3.2.1 BIPV Glass
3.2.2 Solar Roofs
3.2.3 Eight-Year Forecast of DSC in BIPV
3.3 Retail Applications
3.3.1 Outdoor and Indoor Advertising
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3.3.2 Point-of-Purchase Displays
3.3.3 Solar Awnings and Umbrellas
3.3.4 Eight-Year Forecast of DSC in Retail Applications
3.4 Sensor Networks
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3.4.1 Eight-Year Forecast of DSC for Sensor Networks
3.5 Emergency Power and Military Applications
3.5.1 Eight-Year Forecast of DSC for Sensor Networks
3.6 Automotive Applications
3.6.1 Eight-Year Forecast of DSC for Sensor Networks
3.7 Opportunities for DSC Products in Developing Nations
3.8 Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts
3.8.1 Eight-Year Forecast by Type of Product and Application
3.8.2 Eight-Year Forecast by Type of Material
3.9 Key Points Made in this Chapter
Chapter Four: DSC Suppliers and Strategies
4.1.1 3G Solar (Israel)
4.1.2 Dyesol (Australia)
4.1.3 Fujikura (Japan)
4.1.4 G24 Innovations (UK)
4.1.5 Nissha Printing (Japan)
4.1.6 NLAB Solar (Sweden)
4.1.7 Oxford Photovoltaics (UK)
4.1.8 Peccell (Japan)
4.1.9 Samsung SDI (Korea)
4.1.10 Sharp (Japan)
4.1.11 Solaronix (Switzerland)
4.1.12 SolarPrint (Ireland)
4.1.13 Sony (Japan)
4.1.14 SolarPrint (Ireland)
4.2 Large Specialty Chemical Company Strategies in the DSC Space
4.2.1 BASF (Germany)
4.2.2 Everlight Chemical (Taiwan)
4.2.3 Merck (Germany)
4.2.4 Umicore (Belgium)
Dye Sensitized Cell Markets – 2012
BuildingBuilding-Integrated Photovoltaics Markets – 2012
Dye Sensitized Cells: Materials, Applications and Opportunities – 2011
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Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Dye-sensitized Solar Cell (DSC) Technology
NanoMarkets has been keeping a keen eye on DSC photovoltaics for some years now. As stated
in the previous report, the last couple of years have been quite interesting for third-generation Page | 5
photovoltaic PV technology. Significant advances have taken place not only with respect to labscale cell efficiencies, but also on the commercialization front. As a result, a number of commercial
providers have the potential to supply DSC panels in the near future.
However, the financial difficulties faced by the PV industry in recent times have cast suspicion on
the long-term viability of both large and small firms. Nevertheless, there is scope for further
improvement in the efficiency of lab-scale DSCs that already are competitive with amorphous silicon
(a-Si) cells (~15 percent).
The changing dynamics in the global PV industry have led DSC manufacturers to seek solace in
more economically resilient off-grid applications. Building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV)
applications and low-light driven DSC solutions for consumer electronics are increasingly being
seen as the largest potential markets for DSC. In fact, the first commercialized DSC products were
flexible keyboards and portable battery chargers.
1.1.1 A Ray of Hope: Effect of China and Improved Cell Efficiency
Respite in the form of consolidation and subsidy rationalization in China: In the last five
years, the global PV industry, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, has suffered from pricing
pressures caused by PV panel manufacturers from China. Subsidy-supported production led to an
oversupply of solar PV panels and a subsequent drop in prices from the level observed in 2007.
As a result, even large Chinese PV panel manufacturers such as Suntech incurred losses. Based
on current trends, the Chinese government is not expected to extend further subsidies to the
numerous financially troubled solar firms.
Consolidation or closure will be the only options for less resourceful Chinese solar PV panel
manufacturers over the next two years and is necessary if balance in the global solar PV space is
to be restored.
European manufacturers have also been faced with reductions in government subsidies, which
have further increased the pricing pressure on these firms.
Emerging PV technologies such as DSC have not been spared either. The DSC industry suffered
as early entrants in the DSC space, including G24 Innovations (now a part of G24 Power Ltd., U.K.)
and Dyesol (Australia) were acquired or left to suffer dwindling revenues respectively.
The good news is that the consolidation of smaller firms and a more reasonable government
subsidy scheme in China will put a check on cheap solar PV panels in the coming years. In addition,
the growing significance of protectionist measures, such as anti-dumping laws, should provide the
DSC industry much needed relief.
However, the industry must make a conscious effort to ease commercialization barriers, and
adequate financial support by governments and the private investment community is also needed.
With these developments, innovative DSC-centric firms in the U.S. and Europe can gain a fresh
lease on life over the next three to five years by guaranteeing solutions with extended lifetimes.
DSCs looking to shed the ‘jinxed’ label: When the efficiency of DSCs hovered near 10 percent
in 2010, the PV industry lost interest in this technology, and it was considered to be a niche market
segment like organic PV (OPV). At that point, DSC was expected to remain in a permanent R&D Page | 6
phase or at best be suitable only for use in the low-end applications. Such an outlook was not
entirely misplaced, as DSCs were obviously a type of organic cells because they contain organic
What changed in the last couple of years is that DSC PV witnessed a number of technological
breakthroughs that helped the technology overcome previously stagnated efficiency numbers. More
importantly, the industry embarked on a path towards solving critical lifetime-related issues that
were a major stumbling block to its success in the past.
1.1.2 Challenging Path to Commercialization
Changing solar industry dynamics in China, combined with protectionist measures taken by the
U.S. and European nations, is good news for new solar PV entrants. However, established DSC
players such as G24i and Dyesol will need to figure out ways to stay financially viable.
Rebirth of G24i: One of the earliest entrants in the DSC space, G24i ran into financial trouble in
December 2012 but then reemerged as a new entity under the name G24i Power Limited. The
reasons behind the revival of this relatively new PV firm are interesting given the pricing pressures
faced by the entire PV industry over the last couple of years.
A private investment team led by the Martin family (U.S.) and Innovation Management Limited (Isle
of Man) saw the potential to commercialize DSC technology. With G24i Power’s roll-to-roll (R2R)
process, which has significant potential to reduce the unit cost of DSC modules, this gamble seems
to be paying off.
In addition, the strategy of the restructured G24i Power is different from that envisaged by the
original owners. The focus of the new entity is to:
Engage in process improvement initiatives to enhance product quality, lifetime, and
conversion efficiency in order to offer competitive alternatives in the consumer electronics
Develop new DSC solutions, including solid-state flexible cells; and
Target a wider range of applications, such as mobile chargers in the developing world.
Others include computer accessories, washroom products, healthcare solutions, and
lighted point-of-purchase displays.
The intention of the new owners is to provide the financial support needed to smoothly reach the
final stages of commercialization and help the firm regain its position in the industry. As a matter of
fact, G24i Power re-started its production and research programs in November 2013.
NanoMarkets believes, however, that while G24i Power might trigger the DSC commercialization
process, only consumer response and the ability to develop market relevant products on a regular
basis will determine the firm’s success. And this proof is still a long way from appearing.
Fate of Dyesol: Recently, Dyesol’s revenues and profitability have been dwindling because liquidstate materials are going out of favor in comparison to solid-state materials. However, a couple of Page | 7
strategic moves initiated by the company might work in its favor:
The transition from expensive liquid-based materials to relatively cheaper solid-state
materials including perovskite sensitizers and the Spiro solid-state electrolyte−a
significant move considering the higher efficiency, lower cost, and better scalability
prospects for solid-state DSCs.
The intent to diversify beyond the materials space into licensing for access to IP royalties
and the manufacturing of modules.
The move to strengthen its solid-state material IP portfolio and progress toward commercialization
can be strengthened through Dyesol’s recent tie-up with Nanyang Technological Institute (NTU,
Dyesol’s acquisition of an equity stake in Printed Power Pte Ltd, a spinoff of NTU, in April 2013 will
enable the company to enter the new market for fully printed Combined Energy Generation and
Storage (CEGS) solutions.
If everything falls into place, Dyesol should be able to commercialize a DSC-based low indoor light
sensor network within the next two years. Funding support from SPRING (an enterprise of the
Singapore government) will be the lifeline for the project. In addition, this tie-up will further aid the
shift in Dyesol’s research activities from liquid-state to solid-state DSCs.
Separately, Dyesol’s long association with École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL,
Switzerland) will pave the way for the introduction of mass production techniques for solid-state
DSCs in the next three to four years. Such methods will be primarily targeted at the production of
DSCs for BIPV applications involving steel and glass.
However, the big question is if Dyesol can keep its investors convinced that it has strong future
prospects. Dyesol’s business model mostly hinges on its ability to translate pilot production
capability to larger scale deployment. Thus, it is essential that the company puts long-term supply
agreements and project financing in place.
Doing so, however, has been a concern for Dyesol recently; despite the completion of pilot projects
for a majority of its partners, large-scale deployment has been lagging behind schedule. The delays
have been mainly due to funding-related negotiations with some of its major partners, such as Tata
Steel (Europe), Pilkington (part of NSG, Japan), and Timo (South Korea).
At this juncture, it is important to note that Dyesol does have a chance to speed up things in the
coming year. The disclosure in November 2013 by Tasnee (Saudi Arabia), one of Dyesol’s biggest
investors and collaborators, to extend its funding support is a big source of relief for the firm.
The company will have immediate access to AU$10 million and receive a further AU$6 million by
January 2014 provided it receives shareholder approval. Dyesol thus has the opportunity to
leverage these additional financial resources to achieve commercialization and mass deployment
of solid-state solar cell technology in BIPV applications.
In addition, as of November 2013, Dyesol became an industrial partner in the $19 million SPECIFIC
(Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings) project,
which should also help the firm recover from its financial woes to some extent. The five-year project Page | 8
with established industrial partners such as BASF (Germany), Pilkington, and Tata Steel (Europe)
was formed to promote solid-state DSCs in BIPV applications.
Overall, NanoMarkets believes that Dyesol’s success will largely depend on its ability to convince
investors of the value proposition of solid-state DSCs and its capability of achieving mass scale
deployment of commercial solutions.
For other small and innovative firms, success in the DSC space will hinge upon their ability to muster
financial support on a regular basis. In addition, these companies must make a concerted effort to
identify potential technological and financial partners that will be willing to commit to long-term
supply agreements that will enable economies of scale.
Role of Tata Steel (Europe): Despite developing the world’s largest DSC panel for steel-based
BIPV applications in collaboration with Dyesol in 2011, large-scale production has not yet occurred;
however, there are rumors that the company experienced technical difficulties that have apparently
now been overcome.
At present, the Colors division of Tata Steel (Europe) is involved in various partnership projects on
DSC research to assess the performance and commercial potential of DSCs. For instance, it is one
of the partners of the Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI), which is presently exploring ways to
commercialize low-cost DSCs in the U.K.
The $7-million funding support for the project will be crucial for facilitating the commercialization of
industrial DSC applications in collaboration with Tata Colors and Dyesol.
Successful technology development and production planning for the commercialization of DSCenabled steel roofing and building facades is in the cards. However, given Tata’s cautious approach
in the DSC commercialization space, NanoMarkets believes that large-scale production of DSCbased BIPV solutions may not materialize in the immediate future.
Fujikura’s (Japan) intention to commercialize low-light solutions: DSCs have played a
significant role in the company’s strategic roadmap. In April 2013, Fujikura started shipping samples
of its DSC modules that are capable of generating twice the electric power generated by
conventional amorphous solar cells under indoor light conditions.
What sets apart Fujikura’s light-harvesting DSC solutions is the flexibility options offered to
consumers. The ability of the modules to optimally convert light to electric power in response to
changing lighting conditions (both amount and type) is also seen as a consumer-friendly move.
At present, Fujikura is delivering small volumes of its DSC-based panels (business card and
passport-sized) for evaluation. This DSC initiative is partially supported by the New Energy and
Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan.
NanoMarkets believes that Fujikura can emerge as a key DSC player in the low-power consumer
applications segment given the less competitive nature of the energy harvesting consumer
electronics market and the growing consumer demand for technologies that can promise reduced
recharging frequencies. Given that increasing numbers of samples of similar DSC modules are
being produced and evaluated, commercial products might well be hitting the market within the next
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Potential of specialty chemical firms: Providing support to the PV panel manufacturers are the
specialty chemical firms that supply different components, including electrolytes and other
BASF (DE) and IoLiTec Ionic Liquid Technologies (Germany) are active in ionic liquids (ILs), which
serve as DSC electrolytes. Sigma Aldrich (U.S.), an established life science and chemical firm, is a
key player with a wide range of dyes and nanoparticles for DSC applications.
Merck is another major chemical firm that supplies materials for DSC applications and is active in
DSC-related R&D efforts. For instance, it received funding (€3 million) in May 2013 from Germany’s
Federal Ministry of Education and Research for project COBRA (organic cobalt-based low-cost
printable large-area photovoltaics). The three-year project with partners 3GSolar (Israel) and Colour
Synthesis Solutions (U.K.) seeks to improve efficiencies and lifetimes through the use of a novel
redox systems and non-volatile electrolytes.
NanoMarkets believes that there is opportunity here for such established chemical firms such as
Merck, BASF, and Sigma Aldrich, which are active across multiple DSC materials markets, to
collaborate on research efforts to further move up the DSC value chain.
1.1.3 What Changed in the Last Year?
Given the dynamic economic and technological environment in the DSC market, it is important to
take note of some key developments.
Efficiency has always been a widely discussed issue for DSCs, although DSC
performance is not solely decided by cell efficiency. Nevertheless, what could not be
achieved over the past decade was achieved in July 2013 at the EPFL−researchers
effectively replaced a liquid electrolyte with a solid-state perovskite material to achieve a
cell efficiency of 15 percent under standard AM 1.5 test conditions.
This development could be the precursor to the commercialization of solid-state DSCs,
given the nature of the pioneering work at EPFL, which is where modern-day DSCs took
The use of other materials has also gained traction in the past year. For instance, the
University of Basel (Swiss) and Merck are currently working to replace traditional DSC
electrolytes with a cobalt-based electrolytic system. The use of cobalt is expected to
increase the stability of next-generation DSCs while remaining cost-effective.
NanoMarkets believes that these early successes with solid-state DSC technology and new
material sets hold real promise for the future commercialization of DSCs and could very well garner
more investor interest that may, consequently, further accelerate innovation and drive real product
1.1.4 Market Opportunities in the DSC space
The move into new territories: Chinese overcapacity and the accompanied crash in conventional
silicon prices did not provide enough time for solar companies to adapt and reconfigure business
operations. Aggressive consolidation, particularly of mainstream PV technology firms, was the
result. DSC firms have also has been finding it difficult to compete in a space where comparison on
Page | 10
the basis of $/W reigns.
In the recent past, DSC firms have been quick to realize that the way to establish a presence in the
PV market is to target niche applications that can be commercialized within the next three-five years
and benefit from the superior features of this technology with respect to good indoor performance,
flexibility, robustness, and color tenability.
BIPV to the rescue: In this regard, BIPV is an attractive market for DSCs given its ability to deliver
semi-transparent glass. The market potential is huge, particularly in Europe where legislation is
likely to push for the construction of near zero-emission buildings. However, large-volume
production of DSC modules with lifetimes of around 20 years remains a challenge.
If Dyesol can achieve the incorporation of longer-lifetime DSC modules into glass and metallic BIPV
solutions in the next two-three years, it may have a real chance to revive its fortunes to some extent.
G24i Power Ltd could also make an impact in the BIPV space provided some of its recent
technological developments are effectively incorporated in its product line. Whether or not the
company has access to the funds needed to ensure commercialization remains to be seen,
Meanwhile, Exeger’s (Sweden) pilot production plant, which is expected to begin commercial
operation in 2014, will enable the firm to realize potential economies of scale. Notably, the €1.8
million in financial support the company received from the EU through a LIFE financial instrument
may enable Exeger to gain prominence in the next two-three years.
In the meantime, the industry is also making serious investments to resolve scale-up related issues
and ramp up production capacity in order to serve the large-volume BIPV market within the next
three-five years. By that time, DSC technology will mature and the stability and lifetime-related
issues that are still present today should be resolved at the R&D level.
NanoMarkets believes that with a few years of successful commercialization experience behind it,
the DSC industry will be ready to emerge as a major contender in the BIPV space. On-grid and
utility-scale generation is not on the radar at the moment; however, this situation could change if
any technological breakthrough manages to significantly improve the long-term stability of DSCs in
Further opportunities in energy-harvesting applications: Energy harvesting is another
attractive market, particularly for indoor applications, which have recently experienced rapid growth.
Here DSC can differentiate itself based on its substantially reduced performance gap. The indoor
energy-harvesting market includes applications such as power supplies for various sensors
(temperature, humidity, CO2 concentration, etc.), remote control units, and charging devices. Power
sources for information management systems in smart homes and large warehouses are longerterm opportunities.
In this space, Fujikura could emerge as a key player given the fact that the firm has recently
advanced into the evaluation stage for its low-light enabled DSC solutions. It remains to be seen
whether G24i Power will be able to make a comeback in this space with its new management.
In short, DSC manufacturers are once again retooling their strategies and looking for target niche
markets where they can deliver unique value at a reasonable price and thus remain profitable.
1.1.5 Can DSCs Cross the Commercialization Hurdle?
There are compelling technological and economic reasons to be optimistic about the future of DSC
As a fundamentally superior technology, DSC possesses the maximum probability of converting an
incident photon into electrical current. A well-established material knowledge base and the
availability of standardized manufacturing equipment should, therefore, enable high production
yields in the coming years.
For instance, it is known that DSCs are relatively stable at higher temperatures. Therefore, the use
of non-vacuum deposition techniques is possible and would do away with the need for expenditures
on capital-intensive infrastructure.
In addition, the ability of DSCs to efficiently operate across a wide range of the visible spectrum,
including in low indoor lighting conditions, makes it superior to other competing technologies.
Furthermore, the ability to produce DSC modules that are semi-transparent, semi-flexible, and have
longer lifetime modules makes this PV technology very attractive for applications in the BIPV
To top it all, NanoMarkets believes that the recently improving efficiency trend and better price to
performance ratio will drive DSC commercialization in the coming years.
Growth of the DSC PV market in the next decade is likely to meet today’s cautious forecasts.
However, it is not going to be easy sailing, at least for the next couple of years.
Technical bottlenecks: There is a need to remove technical bottlenecks, such as degradation
upon exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and poor absorption in the red part of spectrum. In
addition, the tendency of hazardous volatile organic solvents to escape from the liquid electrolyte
must be resolved.
Apart from these hurdles, there are scale-up related issues; it is often challenging to reasonably
replicate lab-scale small area efficiencies on large area modules. Fortunately, a majority of current
research efforts are focused on successfully replacing liquid electrolytes with conducting polymers
or ionic solids without compromising efficiency. Such developments should solve all of the liquid
electrolyte related issues, including scale-up concerns.
Researchers are also working to improve the spectral absorbance of DSCs. If early results are to
be believed, most of the mentioned issues are likely to be resolved sooner rather than later.
Page | 11
Economic issues: The impact of the economic slowdown is evident in the reduction of government
subsidies and tax incentives that supported the PV industry for so long. The lack of such assistance
will take a toll on the investment climate, although emerging technologies with unique benefits will
remain within the investment radar.
In addition, because DSC PV currently competes in off-grid applications and sees its future in BIPV Page | 12
applications, the impact of declining subsidies may not be felt to a significant degree.
In summary, NanoMarkets believes that given the technical and economic advantages that DSC
PV presents, notwithstanding a few critical technical hurdles that are likely to be resolved, DSC
should be able to prove itself in the market.
1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report
This report examines the opportunities and challenges for the DSC industry over the next eight
years. The purpose of this report is to present a critical assessment of recent developments in the
realm of DSC PV. Based on our unbiased assessment of recent technology and market trends, we
present a forecast of how things are going to pan out for DSC PV over the next eight years.
The report looks into the broader issues in the global PV industry that might impact the DSC
industry. Emphasis has been made to identify the right target markets, such as BIPV and indoor
energy harvesting applications. We have further highlighted the potential factors that might improve
the prospects for DSC technology in these markets. We also make a conscious effort to explore the
ramifications of the revised strategies adopted by the key players in the industry.
In addition, technological developments that are likely to shape the future course of the industry are
discussed with regard to the use of electrolyte, electrode and encapsulation materials. Initiatives to
improve cell efficiency and achieve cost-effectiveness have also been investigated.
1.3 Methodology of this Report
1.3.1 Forecasting Methodology
The basic forecasting approach involved identification and quantification of the underlying markets
for DSC and the corresponding materials needs. The technological and market pressures that can
affect the growth prospects for DSC modules and the mix of materials used to produce those
modules were also considered.
In addition, the competitive landscape was assessed to determine the suitability and likely volume
of DSC devices that will be produced over the next eight years. The broader economic
developments that may impact DSC PV and materials development and commercialization were
This report is international in scope. The forecasts herein are worldwide forecasts and we have not
been geographically selective in the firms that we have covered in this report or interviewed in order
to collect information.
1.3.2 Data Sources
This report is the latest from NanoMarkets that looks closely at the PV industry, which is a key area
of expertise for NanoMarkets.
The information for this report is derived from a variety of sources, but principally comes
from primary sources, including NanoMarkets' ongoing interview program of entrepreneurs,
business development and marketing managers, and technologists involved with PV, PV
materials, and emerging electronics of all kinds.
We also used information from secondary sources, such as relevant company and industry Page | 13
organization websites, commercial databases, trade press articles, technical literature,
SEC filings, and other corporate literature.
Some background information for this report has been taken from the previous version of this report,
“Dye-Sensitized Cells: Materials, Applications, and Opportunities” from April 2012.
Where information from an earlier report has been used, it has been reconsidered in light of current
developments and updated accordingly.
1.3.3 Alternative Scenarios
While we take a realistic approach to the global dye sensitized cell market and the direction of the
worldwide economy, other scenarios are possible. At the time of this writing, the U.S. economy has
been registering slow, yet steady, growth, but reasonable economic growth in Europe will take time
to register. The Japanese economy is also expected to improve in a few years, provided it is able
to overcome certain minor hurdles, such as the increase in sales tax introduced in April 2013.
Overall, however, the emerging economies led by China will serve as the major engine of global
economic recovery from the recessionary phase experienced in the recent past.
Unfortunately, if certain macroeconomic events, such as a delayed economic recovery in the key
DSC markets of Europe and Japan, occur, they would have a negative impact on the prospects for
DSC technology. Because the DSC industry has been mired in technology- and investment-related
issues, any adverse economic event would likely dampen the spirits of innovative DSC firms with
On the other hand, there is always the possibility—although an uncertain one—that an overall highgrowth economic scenario will develop across the primary DSC markets. By high-growth we mean
a sustained, rapid recovery in developed economies along with consistent strong growth in
emerging economies, particularly China, Brazil and India, which could enable a relatively faster
adoption rate for DSCs.
1.4 Plan of this Report
In Chapter Two, we discuss recent technological improvements in DSC PV, including important
breakthroughs in electrolyte and electrode materials, recent trends in substrate and encapsulation
materials, and novel performance enhancement strategies with potential future importance, such
as the use of quantum dots. We also examine how DSC compares to other types of thin-film PV
In Chapter Three, we look at the prospective markets for DSCs, including different segments of the
off-grid PV market (indoor, retail, sensors, automotive, and military) and the potentially game
changing BIPV market. Our overall eight-year growth forecasts for these markets and break up of
these forecasts by product and material type are also presented here, as is a discussion of some
of the emerging opportunities for DSC in developing countries.
In Chapter Four we review the latest developments and strategies of key DSC firms, including those
that provide value-added products (modules, chargers, etc.) and specialty chemical firms that
supply materials with a focus on the revised strategic roadmaps adopted by several firms in Page | 14
response to current market conditions.