Increasing demand for utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar devices could boost the semiconductors industry in the next 12 months.
IMS Research believes that the PV market will grow five times faster than the rest of the industry in 2011, as thin-film solar modules become more popular among producers of PV products.
One company, First Solar, is expanding its operations with the manufacture of thin-film PV panels, opening two four-line plants in the US and Vietnam over the next two years, with more planned for France, Germany and Malaysia.
Sam Wilkinson, PV research analyst for IMS Research, said: "First Solar is expecting an increase in demand for its products and a need to accelerate capacity expansions. It is now likely to see robust demand from large plants in Europe."
IMS Research currently has seven analysts working on the PV aspect of the renewable energy markets, offering an expertise in predictions for solar technology.