The market share of bifacial PV modules is set to grow from an expected 3% in 2018 to 40% in 2025, according to BNE.F (Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance)
- With China installing 2.7 GW of bifacial modules in 2018, and another 200 MW coming from other regions, close to 3 GW of bifacial modules are expected to be installed in 2018 alone
- A new report from BNEF says by 2020, the bifacial module market will be 5 GW strong
- Such modules are known to have increased 10% output as light bounces off the ground to hit the underside of the panels
- Investment in better technology and manufacturing practices promises to bring down the higher costs associated with such technology
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The bifacial PV modules market could reach a total of 5 GW by 2020, with China leading from the front. A new research report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) says in 2018, 2.7 GW of such modules will be installed in China alone, and another 200 MW will be installed elsewhere in the world.
The cell technology in these modules does away with most aluminium that’s layered at the back of conventional solar modules. With this step, the semiconductor at the backside can absorb more sunlight, which is reflected from the ground.
Even though the technology is somewhat more expensive, it is said to lead to much higher output, something TaiyangNews published already last year in our first Bifacial Solar Module Technology 2017 report’. There are, however, some hurdles to overcome – from standards to power rating definition and bankability, according to the TaiyangNews report. However, Chinese module makers are warming up to bifacial technology.
Manufacturers are investing in better technology techniques to make the technology cheaper. Tier I module maker LONGi of China already has a 300 MW bifacial production line in China, with plans to scale it up in keeping with demand (see Mono Meets Bifacial).
Bifacial is moving ahead even beyond China. Taiwan’s TSEC recently started production of a 1 GW module factory in Pingtung County where it will also produce bifacial modules (see 1 GW Module Fab Inaugurated In Taiwan). Even Italy’s Enel has introduced its new assembly line with 80 MW annual bifacial panel production capacity (see Enel Starts Bifacial PV Panel Production).
BNEF says ‘early installations show about a 10% boost in output as light bounces off the ground to hit the underside of the panels’. It helps if the ground is painted white, it points out. BNEF expects the market share of bifacial modules will stand at 3% in 2018, grow to 10% in 2020 and by 2025, it will be 40% of the global total.