Sharp is the largest solar company in the world by revenues and has been so for the last few years despite massively increasing competition from Chinese Solar Panel Producers.While other Japanese conglomerates like Sanyo,Mitsubishi and Kyocera have substantially lost solar panel marketshare ,Sharp has managed to retain its leadership position.Though companies like First Solar and Suntech have shipped more solar modules than Sharp,in terms of total dollar sales Sharp is still on top.Sharp which used to make polycrystalline and monocrystalline silicon solar panels has diversified into producing thin film amorphous silicon solar panels.The company has also entered the solar IPP and solar development business in collaboration with Enel Green Power and by acquiring a US Solar Developer Recurrent Energy.However in core solar panel production,Sharp has much higher costs and has lost money consistently.Sharp sells Solar Systems and Solar Inverters as well as Solar Modules.However the challenges in the solar market are considerable with well funded low cost competitors from China and South Korea.Sharp faces the toughest years of its solar history as it fights to survive in this cut throat Solar Market
Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is integrating of photovoltaic modules into the building envelope such as roofs or windows.These solid-state devices are used to replace conventional building materials to generate electricity out of sunlight with no maintenance and help in fighting global warming as the produce no pollution.BIPV products are most useful in construction of new buildings as an ancillary source of electrical power, although existing you can retrofit old buildings with BIPV proudcts as well. The advantage of BIPV over normal standard PV panels is that they integrate into the buildings instead of sticking out leading some people to call it ugly.ALso they help in saving the amount of money spent on building materials and labor that would normally be used to construct the part of the building . These advantages make BIPV one of the fastest growing segments of the photovoltaic industry with some people estimating that the use of BIPV will increase at more than 50% annually over the next few years with more than 1 GW of BIPV modules installed in the last year.
BIPV is the acronym for Building Integrated Photovoltaics which means the integration of photovoltaic materials into building structures such as roofs,windows and facades.It not only replaces the building supplies but also generate electricity creating a killer green product.This is one of the fastest growing segment in the solar industry and it has been estimated that almost 6-7% of the solar industry is made of BIPV products.A wide variety of technologies and products are being used in creating BIPV products.Though a large number of big solar panel manufactures like Suntech,Yingli,Canadian Solar have come out with BIPV Panels and Products,the segment has not become as big mainly because of higher costs vis a vis the standard crystalline solar systems.There are also specialized BIPV suppliers such as Ascent Solar and Konarka whose products are more suited to the BIPV Industry than the normal module industry.Some of these suppliers have no option as their technology is no longer competitive with the Chinese solar panel producers.Solyndra had a niche product which could be used in rooftops with ease of installation and low weight.However the high costs drove it to bankruptcy.The next leg up to the BIPV industry should come up with more BIPV products from the Major Solar Companies and as cost of solar silicon decline further with scale and innovation