And this is where the opposition lie. If costs for BIPV begin to reach the point where BIPV products can be positioned as part of a standard portfolio of high-end building materials then the demand is expected to explode. Since cost remains a significant part of the demand equation, the dynamics of pricing must be considered. NanoMarkets considers that BIPV suppliers want to target certain price points in reference to existing high end building materials and options. In such a scenario, the demand is not particularly “elastic” with price, but instead should spike up once threshold levels are achieved. Three approaches to building integration: Rigid, flexible, transparent from a product perspective, NanoMarkets believes that the BIPV market fits best into three broad categories, based on the function that the BIPV products served in the building envelope.
These categories are (1) rigid BIPV tiles and panels, (2) flexible BIPV products and laminates, and (3) transparent or semi transparent BIPV glass products. Each of these product categories are at a different level of technological maturity and so have significantly different addressable markets. Rigid products: rigid BIPV products generally rely upon crystalline silicon (c-SI) or multi-crystalline silicon (mc-SI) wafers as the cells from which to build customized building cladding structures. The silicon wafers required may be increased from any supplier and the modules manufacturing required may not be significantly different from that needed to create conventional PV panels, which are overwhelmingly rigid. However, the aesthetics of the TIC and functional and regulatory requirements of BIPV create new opportunities for product differentiation compared to mainstream PV panels. Consequently, NanoMarkets believes that there are distinct opportunities in this space that BIPV can tap into in a manner not available to conventional PV panels. Rigid BIPV products that are available or planned include tiles that are designed to interlace with conventional roofing tiles or cladding materials; larger tiles that serve as entire roof portion or wall portions themselves.