Home Semiconductor & Electronics Plastic Solar Cell Market Size, Share and Forecast to 2031

Plastic Solar Cell Market

Plastic Solar Cell Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (PN Junction Structure (P-N Heterojunction), Dye-Sensitized Nanocrystalline solar cells), By Applications (Disposable Plastic solar cell Poster, Hydrogen-Powered Car, Wireless Devices, Others), By End-User (Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Residential, Power and Energy, Others) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2023-2031

Report Code: SRSE54579DR
Study Period 2019-2031 CAGR 84.12%
Historical Period 2019-2021 Forecast Period 2023-2031
Base Year 2022 Base Year Market Size USD 0.029 Billion
Forecast Year 2031 Forecast Year Market Size USD 7.01 Billion
Largest Market North America Fastest Growing Market Europe
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Market Overview

The global plastic solar cell market size was valued at USD 0.029 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 7.01 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 84.12% during the forecast period (2023–2031).

A plastic solar cell is a device that converts light energy into electrical energy. Plastic solar cells are silicon-based layer Photovoltaic (PV) cells named mono-crystalline or poly-crystalline, which absorb heat from the sun and produce energy. The solar cells capture the sun's light energy, which excites the electrons and produces electricity. The interest in alternate energy sources has increased the applications of plastic solar cells in various applications, such as disposable plastic solar cells, hydrogen-powered cars, wireless devices, and others.

Plastic solar cells offer several advantages over traditional solar cell technologies. They can be manufactured using low-cost, scalable printing techniques, which makes them more affordable and accessible. The flexibility and lightweight nature enable integration into various applications, such as flexible solar panels, solar-powered textiles, portable electronics, and building-integrated photovoltaics. However, plastic solar cells have lower efficiency than silicon-based solar cells. An effort is being made to increase effectiveness., stability, and durability of plastic solar cells through ongoing research and development.


  • PN junction structure dominates the type segment.
  • Disposable plastic solar cell posters dominate the application segment.
  • Automotive dominates the end-user segment.
  • North America is the highest shareholder in the global market.

Market Dynamics

Global Plastic Solar Cell Market Drivers

Increasing Demand for Plastic Solar Cells

The need for more energy is driving an increase in searches for alternate energy sources. The most prevalent source of renewable energy is solar energy. Photovoltaic (PV) cells are one of the ways to connect solar energy. PV cells convert sunlight directly to electricity and can be influential in meeting the world’s energy demand. PV systems are used in various applications as they are lightweight and flexible. Plastic solar cells are used as a coating on the back of electronics to supply power through the integrated chip to portable electronics equipment like PDAs, laptops, and pocket calculators. In addition, plastic solar cells have various applications and uses, from gadgets to building integrations. The main features of plastic solar cells are flexibility and adaptability—they can be cut into any length. They can be made in custom colors, apart from being lightweight and ultra-thin.

Rising Government Initiatives and Support Toward Renewable Sources of Energy

The government plans to double the electricity generating capacity yearly to cope with rising energy demand in developing countries. Further, developing countries are focusing on advanced renewable energy generation technologies such as plastic solar cells and other light equipment, which are compact, lightweight, and cheaper. Moreover, such equipment comprises organic plastic-based semiconductors, which are 30% more effective and efficient and, without damaging the environment, transform solar energy into electrical energy to fulfill the rising need for power. Government initiatives and programs are expected to impact the solar energy market growth with lucrative revenue contributors. The low installation price of solar modules, coupled with the decrease in dependence on fossil fuels, has increased the demand for plastic solar cells in the market.

Global Plastic Solar Cell Market Restraint

Conversion Efficiency of PV System Technology

The portion of radiant energy of the sun, which is converted into electricity via photovoltaics, is referred to as solar cell efficiency. The overall climatic conditions and geographical latitudes have restricted the growth of the solar energy market, especially in regions where snow and rainfall are prevalent. This is expected to hinder the adoption of plastic solar cells in the market. One of the challenges faced by plastic solar cells is their sensitivity to environmental conditions. Extreme weather conditions, such as snow and heavy rainfall, can limit the exposure of solar cells to sunlight, affecting their overall efficiency. Further, geographical locations with lower solar irradiance or higher cloud cover may also impact the performance of plastic solar cells.

Global Plastic Solar Cell Market Opportunities

Research and Development in Solar Cell Technologies

The solar energy market is in its nascent stage. Still, the demand for an alternative non-conventional energy source has generated potential market growth opportunities in recent years. Research and development are anticipated to play a pivotal role in shaping solar cell technology and expanding the scope of solar energy in various applications. In addition, the increased efficiency of plastic solar cells boosts the market demand, especially in emerging economies such as China and Japan. Researchers are also fabricating a new third-generation solar module, which is expected to have huge market potential due to its increased energy efficiency.

Improvements in light absorption, reduced energy losses, and optimized charge carrier transport inside the device are all targets of ongoing research and development for solar cells. This involves developing innovative cell structures, surface texturing techniques, and anti-reflection coatings to maximize light capture. Thin-film solar cells are particularly interesting, as they offer the potential for lightweight, flexible, and low-cost solar panels. The growing R&D in solar cell technology is expected to create tremendous opportunities for market growth over the forecast period.

Regional Analysis

North America Dominates the Global Market

Based on region, the global plastic solar cell market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

North America is the most significant global plastic solar cell market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 85.1% over the forecast period. North America has emerged as a prominent player in the global market, holding the largest market share and exhibiting significant growth potential. Several factors contribute to North America's dominance in this market. Firstly, the region has witnessed substantial technological advancements and innovations related to plastic solar cells. R&D activities in the field of solar energy have been robust, leading to the emergence of advanced materials and manufacturing processes for plastic solar cells. This technological expertise and know-how have given North American companies a competitive edge in the international market. Secondly, North America has a well-established infrastructure and supportive ecosystem for adopting renewable energy technologies. The region has also witnessed significant investments in the solar energy sector, including government initiatives, incentives, and favorable policies promoting renewable energy sources. These factors have created a conducive environment for the growth of the market.

Europe is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 83.8% over the forecast period. Europe's plastic solar cell market is experiencing substantial growth, primarily driven by the rising demand for grid plastic solar cell installations. Germany, the UK, and Spain have emerged as major competitors in the sector, driving demand for solar module installation. The region's increased need for distributed systems indicates that this trend will likely continue. In addition, one of the primary forces driving the growth of grid plastic solar cell installations is the growing emphasis on renewable energy sources and reducing carbon emissions. The European Union and individual European countries have set ambitious targets to transition towards cleaner energy sources and achieve sustainability goals. Plastic solar cells offer a renewable and environmentally friendly solution for generating electricity, making them an attractive option for grid installations.

The Asia-Pacific region is witnessing significant market growth, primarily driven by government policies and regulations promoting sustainable sector investments. Governments in countries such as China, India, Japan, and others have recognized the importance of renewable energy and are implementing supportive measures to encourage the adoption of plastic solar cells. One of the critical elements propelling the growth of the market in Asia-Pacific is the increased adoption of wireless devices in the region. The rapid proliferation of smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other wireless devices has also created a high demand for efficient and sustainable power sources. These devices can be powered by plastic solar cells since they are lightweight, flexible, and can be incorporated into various surfaces.

The growth of solar energy in remote areas of Africa can be attributed to the lack of proper electricity distribution and the scarcity of fossil fuels. Many African regions have limited access to reliable electricity, making solar energy a viable and sustainable alternative. The abundant sunlight in these areas makes solar energy an attractive solution for meeting the energy needs of communities and powering essential services such as healthcare facilities, schools, and water pumping stations.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Type
  1. PN Junction Structure (P-N Heterojunction)
  2. Dye-Sensitized Nanocrystalline solar cells
By Applications
  1. Disposable Plastic solar cell Poster
  2. Hydrogen-Powered Car
  3. Wireless Devices
  4. Others
By End-User
  1. Automotive
  2. Consumer Electronics
  3. Residential
  4. Power and Energy
  5. Others
Company Profiles Konarka Technologies Abengoa S.A Applied Materials Inc. Canadian Solar Inc. Bightsource Energy Inc. Acciona Energia S.A Gintech Energy Corporation Sunpower Corporation E – solar Inc. Tata Power solar system Ltd.
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global plastic solar cell market is bifurcated into type, applications, and end users.

Based on type, the global plastic solar cell market is bifurcated into PN junction structure (P-N heterojunction) and dye-sensitized nanocrystalline solar cells.

The PN junction structure (P-N Heterojunction) segment dominates the global market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 85.4% over the forecast period. PN junctions are formed by joining n-type and p-type semiconductor materials, the interface at which p-type silicon and n-type silicon contact each other. At this coupling point, free electrons (n-type) and holes (p-type) cancel each other and form a "depletion zone" that acts as a non-conductive barrier. The plastic solar cell is an essential PN junction with a large surface area that uses sunlight to produce electricity. P-N junction structure is used in all LED lighting applications. In addition, the voltage across the P-N junction creates temperature sensors and reference voltages. It is used in many circuit rectifiers and varactors for voltage-controlled oscillators. A plastic solar cell combines n-type silicon (blue) and p-type silicon.

Dye-sensitized nanocrystalline solar cells utilize a different mechanism for converting solar energy. These cells consist of a layer of nanocrystalline titanium dioxide coated with a light-absorbing dye. The dye absorbs photons from sunlight, generating excited electrons transported through the nanocrystalline layer to produce electrical current. Dye-sensitized nanocrystalline solar cells offer advantages such as transparency, flexibility, and excellent performance under low-light conditions. They find applications where transparency is desired, such as solar windows and facades.

Based on application, the global plastic solar cell market is bifurcated into disposable plastic solar cell posters, hydrogen-powered cars, wireless devices, and others.

The disposable plastic solar cell posters segment is the highest contributor to the market and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 81.8% over the forecast period. The disposable solar panel is a collection of plastic solar cells which generates electricity through the photovoltaic effect. The disposable solar panel offers a cheap alternative power source with the help of nanotechnology and uses batteries to run generators to supply power. The surge in urbanization rate, along with the limited availability of conventional energy sources, has triggered the demand for disposable plastic solar panels. This tendency is anticipated to continue over the forecast period. In addition, these innovative solar cell posters integrate plastic solar cells, allowing them to generate electricity from sunlight. These posters can be used in various outdoor settings, such as advertising billboards, public spaces, and events. Using disposable plastic solar cell posters provides an environmentally friendly, cost-effective solution for powering signage and displays.

Based on end-user, the global plastic solar cell market is bifurcated into automotive, consumer electronics, residential, power and energy, and others.

The automotive segment dominates the global market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 91.2% over the forecast period. Transportation plays a significant role in contributing to atmospheric pollution, particularly in urban areas. The harmful vehicle emissions have led to a growing concern for environmental sustainability and the need to find alternative solutions. This has driven the demand for solar-assisted transportation facilities, where plastic solar cells can play a crucial role. The use of plastic solar cells in transportation offers numerous benefits. It enables the development of low-energy automotive electronics powered by solar energy. These electronics can include various components such as dashboard displays, lighting systems, entertainment systems, and navigation devices. These electronics can operate efficiently and reduce reliance on traditional energy sources by harnessing solar power.

Market Size By Type

Recent Developments

  • February 2023- Konarka Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of plastic solar cells, announced that it had received a USD 10 million investment from the U.S. Department of Energy. The funding will be used to develop new plastic solar cells that are more efficient and cost-effective.
  • January 2023- Solaronix, a Swiss company that develops plastic solar cells, announced that it had signed a deal with a major Chinese solar panel manufacturer to supply plastic solar cells for its products. The deal is expected to help Solaronix to expand its market share in China.

Top Key Players

Konarka Technologies Abengoa S.A Applied Materials Inc. Canadian Solar Inc. Bightsource Energy Inc. Acciona Energia S.A Gintech Energy Corporation Sunpower Corporation E – solar Inc. Tata Power solar system Ltd. Others

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How big is the plastic solar cell market?
The global plastic solar cell market size was valued at USD 0.029 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 7.01 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 84.12% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Europe has the highest growth rate in the plastic solar cell market.
Key verticals adopting the plastic solar cell market include: Konarka Technologies, Abengoa S.A, Applied Materials Inc., Canadian Solar Inc., Bightsource Energy Inc., Acciona Energia S.A, Gintech Energy Corporation, Sunpower Corporation, E – solar Inc., Tata Power solar system Ltd.
Increasing demand for plastic solar cells rising government initiatives and support toward renewable sources of energy are the key driver for the growth of the plastic solar cell market.
Research and development in solar cell technologies is one of the upcoming key trends in the plastic solar cell market.

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