The global polysilicon market size was estimated at USD 5.49 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach USD 13.56 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 10.2%. Polysilicon, known as poly-Si or polycrystalline, is considered to be one of the purest form of silicon material, the second most abundant element available in nature. It consists of silicon crystals that differ from single-crystal silicon, which can be used for electronics and solar cells, it is used as feedstock material in most of the solar power energy applications. Polysilicon also referred to as polycrystalline silicon is a pure form of silicon and is the earth’s most abundantly found element.
The key factors driving the market growth of the polysilicon industry are solar cells, emerging economies, and semiconductor market. Major markets of polysilicon are semiconductor industry and solar industry. Semiconductor industry polysilicon is transformed into silicon crystalline substance that results in electric device such as integrated circuits which forms the key module for electronic products. Multi or mono crystalline silicon substrates are used for making power cells constituting of polysilicon substrate as the key component.
Increasing demand for semiconductors and solar PV (photo voltaic) production is expected to drive the market growth for polysilicon manufacturers. They are extensively used in production of silicon solar cells. These Solar PV cells utilize and absorb sunlight to convert it into power or electricity and hence they are used as power generation resources. The solar energy demand is increasing owing to the environmental benefits and cost effectiveness that it provides to the end users. Solar PV cells do not release any harmful particles into the environment as compared to other forms of energy resources.
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Polysilicon is also used extensively in semiconductor market due to its high electron carrier mobility which will allow smaller transistors resulting in efficient and high speed circuits. Semiconductors are used in many electronic products as an integrated circuit consists computer processors, memory and special devices for optimum efficiency. These semiconductors contain polysilicon at low temperature majorly used in for smaller displays with higher resolution, such as mobile phones and digital cameras which consist of smaller display.
Developments in technology and advanced innovations in industries with decreasing manufacturing cost is expected to steer the market growth over the forecast period. Heavy capital investment and increasing development and production of substitute technologies including thin film silicon technology, metallurgical silicon and Fluidized Bed Reactor (FBR), are expected to pose a major challenge to the market growth.
Increasing cost-effectiveness of solar PV can be largely attributed to reduction in technology prices, growing networks of solar installers and innovative financing. Government regulations and initiatives to encourage solar power generation is also expected to be an opportunity for the global market Based on the purity grade the polysilicon market can be segmented into electronic grade, medium grade, and metallurgical grade silicon. Electronic grade silicon is expected to be the largest segment owing to its high purity standards and its wide range of applications. These silicon grades are used in electronic products such as mobile phones, laptops, computers and others. Medium grade silicon is expected to witness significant growth rate over the forecast period due to its rising awareness and low cost as compared to the electronic grade silicon.
Based on the technology for polysilicon production the global market can be segmented into two forms: granular polysilicon and chunk polysilicon. Supplies of semiconductor wafers use Czochralski crystal growth process that converts polysilicon chunks into particular silicon ingots. These silicon wafers have a wide variety of applications in integrated circuits. Based on the end user, the global market has been segmented into Semiconductor industry and PV industry. Semiconductor industry is expected to be the largest segment on account of technological advancements, innovations and new product developments that require temperature resistant material such as polysilicon. PV industry is expected to witness significant growth owing to the increasing demand for solar panels to produce electricity according to environmental standards.
North America is expected to be the largest market owing to increased installation of photovoltaics in this region. Technological innovations and development of IT systems is expected to boost the market growth. Asia pacific estimated to witness significant growth rate over the forecast period due to presence of countries including Japan and China that dominate the polysilicon producer market. Japan is estimated to be the top most producer of polysilicon in the global market followed by china and Germany. India is also expected to witness high growth rate owing to the increasing awareness of solar power and its efficiency.
Key industry players include MEMC, Tokuyama, Hemlock, REC, Wacker, SumitomoMitsubishi. Other industry participants include MEMC Electronic Materials, Woongjin Polysilicon, CSG Holding and LDK Solar. The cost of polysilicon has been decreasing over a time period owing to oversupply and an increase in competition in the market thereby reducing the production cost.
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