Fast-emerging TOPCon cell structure promotes shift to POE encapsulant.
High cost of POE pushes sheet makers to innovate with multilayer structures
New POE players in China a potential market disruptor
Singapore, February 1, 2024 –Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) and polyolefin elastomer (POE) will coexist as the materials of choice for encapsulation of solar modules, albeit with various twists and turns anticipated over the next decade. This is the key takeaway from MLT Analytics (MLTA) newly-published report entitled “Global EVA/POE Solar Module Encapsulant Sheet Market—2024: A fast-growing market undergoing rapid transformation.” The report estimates the global solar encapsulant sheet market at in excess of 1.7 million tonnes in 2023, with around 28% of the market being POE based on MLTA’s proprietary market modelling. The base case scenario also forecasts growth averaging over seven percent per annum over the next decade.
As noted in two previous reports published by MLTA covering the overall EVA and POE markets, 2021 marked a significant increase in the adoption of POE as a solar encapsulation material, primarily due to a temporary shortage in EVA. Since then, despite POE usage has continued to grow primarily due to the performance requirements of the latest generation of TOPCon cell structure-based solar modules. “Potential-induced degradation, or PID, concerns are the chief driver in the uptake of POE as an encapsulant material but as this material is now priced significantly higher than EVA, sheet makers are innovating with multi-layer structure that combine POE with EVA to achieve the right balance of price versus performance,” says MLT Analytics CEO and co-founder Stephen Moore.
Another key finding of the Global EVA/POE Solar Module Encapsulant Sheet Market—2024 is the forecast globalization of encapsulant sheet production due to regional and national initiatives such as the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and local content requirements in India, and trade-related barriers such as anti-dumping duties implemented in Europe and elsewhere. The share of sheet production outside of China is estimated to reach almost 35% by 2032 in the base case derived from MLTA modeling.