Materials suppliers are now in a stronger position as the solar module manufacturing industry recovers and solar demand continues to expand in markets around the globe. The growth of distributed generation offers greater opportunities for technology differentiation and premium, high-efficiency products. However, low-cost competition and the overall pressure to minimize costs could hinder revenue growth for materials suppliers as module materials costs fall nearly $0.10/W. Thin film solar technologies offer the greatest growth potential, however crystalline silicon will continue to dominate the solar market, and therefore presents the best opportunity for replacement technologies.
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