USA and East Asia Grab $23 Billion Transparent Electronics Opportunity, Reports IDTechEx
BOSTON, Jan. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The new IDTechEx report, "Transparent Electronics Materials, Applications, Markets 2021-2041", describes a market increasing fivefold from 2021-2031. By 2041 it will be over $23 billion. Including translucent in the term transparent electronics, IDTechEx sees electrically-darkened windows growing steadily in demand, but the main action being elsewhere.
Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx advises, "Transparent photovoltaics and displays are mainly driving the growth. Robotic greenhouses are increasingly important in farming, and North America is deploying US-made glass that optimally grows plants while generating the electricity needed, off-grid. China has by far the most industrial greenhouses in the world. Onyx in Spain is the leader in regular photovoltaic windows for city buildings. Hyundai promises some of its electric cars will have a transparent solar roof. Europe leads in opaque solar cars but not that option."
Beyond all this, IDTechEx sees the biggest opportunity may be upgrading regular silicon grid solar with a transparent perovskite photovoltaic layer in due course. OxfordPV is a leading developer here, but US competition is growing rapidly. This promises at least 10% extra electricity as the options reduce for extending the areas of industrial desolation caused by current forms of solar. Transparent, stand-alone photovoltaics is inherently bifacial, opening up more opportunities, and eventually, some solar paint may be invisible.
"Improved grid solar would be a huge win," says Das, "but it will take time to viably upgrade silicon for grids and microgrids, let alone replace it. The beginning will be developers working with traditional suppliers, and all the largest are Chinese. Retrofit film on solar farms may be a later option."
Of course, nearly all light-emitting displays are made in East Asia. It is, therefore, no surprise that Xiaomi of China and LG and Samsung of Korea lead the rollout of transparent versions now seen as subway train windows in China. They interactively display maps and other information. Their dramatic, "images floating in space" have been seen in Harrods shop windows in London and are being considered for everything from simpler mixed-reality car windows and huge billboards to lighter-weight mixed-reality headsets. It is already being offered by value-added suppliers in Korea as audio-visual systems for use in offices and exhibitions.