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The Business Case for Building Integrated Photovoltaics

  • ID: 1842707
  • Report
  • January 2011
  • Region: Global
  • 60 Pages
  • n-tech Research
As the conventional solar panels business becomes increasingly commoditized, the solar panel industry is seeking out new ways to add value to their products. Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) represents one strategy for achieving this.

In the past, the business case for photovoltaics has been made entirely on the basis of return on investment, with the primary performance factor at the solar panel level being efficiency. From a strategic perspective, what BIPV brings to the table is a range of new ways that will enable solar panel makers to distinguish their products in the marketplace to a degree that has not been possible up to now. BIPV also cuts through the boundaries that have existed between building materials and solar panels, thereby both expanding the solar panel market and creating the potential for novel hybrid products that are both solar energy sources and cladding, roofing, windows, etc.

These hybrids both radically change the cost models for solar and also create the need to rethink the value proposition that solar panels of the BIPV kind can bring to the table. In particular, for first time BIPV will enable PV panels that will be judged on their architectural merit and not just on functionality.

In light of the impact that BIPV promises to have on the solar market NanoMarkets believes that the time is right for a serious analysis of the business cases that are appropriate to BIPV.

In this report we provide a thorough examination of the key factors that prove out BIPV as a viable product offering and provide readers with a clear understanding of how manufacturers can assign value to the aesthetics of solutions, the particular selling points of specific markets and how they can best justify their products to the various customer segments.

This analysis draws on both NanoMarkets long experience of analyzing the PV industry and the strategies the firms in the BIPV market. It will provide valuable insight to firms currently active in the BIPV sector, those planning to enter it, and the investors who back them.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
Executive Summary
E.1 The Business Case for PV Today and Why It is Running Out of Steam
E.2 The Subjective Side of the PV Business Case
E.2.1 Subjective Business Cases for PV in the Off-the-Grid Era: PV Ideology
E.2.2 Business Cases for PV in the On-Grid Era: Softer Ideologies
E.2.3 How BIPV Enhances the Business Case for PV: Aesthetics Added
E.3 The ROI Side of the PV Business Case
E.3.1 ROI and PV Today
E.3.2 ROI and BIPV
E.4 Making the Business Case for BIPV: A Summing Up
E.5 Marketing Channels and the BIPV Business Case
E.5.1 BIPV will Shift PV into New Marketing Channels
E.5.2 BIPV Will Have to Reflect the Realities of Real Estate
E.5.3 The Business Case for BIPV Varies by Niche and Nation

Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background to this Report
1.1.1 Trouble in PV Paradise
1.1.2 Economies of Scale or BIPV: Two Responses to Commoditization
1.1.3 The Many Faces of the BIPV Business Case
1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report
1.3 Methodology of this Report
1.4 Plan of this Report

Chapter Two: How BIPV Changes the Business Case for Solar
2.1 Current and Future Impact of BIPV Products on the Case for PV
2.1.1 First-Generation BIPV: Flush Mounted Panels, A Small Step Forward for the PV Business
2.1.2 Second-Generation BIPV: How Tiles, Cladding and Windows Will Transform the BIPV Business Case
2.2 How Business Cases in the Solar Industry are Made Today and How BIPV Changes Them
2.2.1 "Personal Statements," Ideology and Image: What They Tell Us about Selling BIPV
2.2.2 The Standard ROI/IRR Business Model for PV and the Case for BIPV
2.3 The PV Business Case is Weak: But Can BIPV Save PV?
2.4 How BIPV Brings Aesthetics into PV Business Cases
2.4.1 BIPV Aesthetics: Moving the Case for PV Beyond Environmentalism and Subsidies
2.4.2 Placing a Value on PV Aesthetics
2.4.3 Architects, Aesthetics and BIPV
2.5 Key Points Made in this Chapter

Chapter Three: The Changing Markets and Changing Business Cases for BIPV
3.1 Introduction
3.1.1 Arguments for "First-Generation" BIPV
3.2 Shared Cost: What It Means
3.2.1 An Example of How Shared Cost Might Work with BIPV Tiles
3.3 The Case for Rigid BIPV
3.3.1 BIPV Tiles
3.3.2 BIPV Overlays
3.4 The Case for BIPV Glass
3.4.1 Costs, Premiums and BIPV Glass
3.4.2 The Aesthetics of BIPV Glass
3.4.3 Addressable Markets for BIPV Glass: The Importance of Transparency
3.5 The Case for Flexible PV
3.5.1 Flexible BIPV Laminates
3.5.2 Fully-integrated Flexible BIPV Products
3.6 Making the Case for BIPV by Building Type
3.7 Key Points Made in this Chapter

Chapter Four: Materials, Intermediaries and Geographies in BIPV Strategies
4.1 The PV Distribution System and the Case for BIPV
4.1.1 Evolution of the PV Distribution System
4.1.2 Dealers, Installers and BIPV
4.1.3 Systems Integrators and BIPV
4.1.4 Wholesale PV Channels and BIPV
4.2 BIPV, Designers and Architects
4.3 BIPV Strategies in the Construction and Real Estate Business
4.4 Future Retail Strategies for BIPV
4.4.1 Non-Specialized Retailers and BIPV: A Role for Electrical Contractors?
4.4.2 A Do-it-Yourself Approach to BIPV?
4.5 Different Cases for Different Countries: Varying Business Cases for BIPV by Geography
4.6 Key Points Made in this Chapter

Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report

About the Author

List of Exhibits

Exhibit E-1: Summary of BIPV Markets by PV Technology.
Exhibit E-2: Promise and Concerns of BIPV Technology.
Exhibit E-3: Summary of PV Business Case Evolution.
Exhibit E-4: Business Cases and Issues for BIPV Types.
Exhibit 2-1: Major Private PV Installations in the U.S.
Exhibit 2-2: PV Incentives in Major U.S. States.
Exhibit 2-3: Aesthetic Advantages and Disadvantages of BIPV..
Exhibit 2-4: Placing a Value on the Aesthetics of BIPV: Comparison to Equivalent Building Products.
Exhibit 3-1: Cost of PV Systems per Square of Roof Area, 10 Percent Module Efficiency ($).
Exhibit 3-2: BIP Business Cases by Building Type.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown