Solar Simulator – The Artificial Sun
The solar simulator market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.42% to reach a market size worth US$10.887 billion by 2027. This market was valued at US$6.597 billion in 2020. Solar simulators or sunlight simulators deliver illumination akin to sunlight, facilitating controlled indoor test facilities to test photosensitive articles in laboratory conditions. Solar simulators are deployed in testing a wide range of photosensitive materials, including cosmetics, sunscreen, solar cells, skin cancer, aerospace materials, water treatment, bioluminescence, water treatment, and many others. A solar stimulator device is architected by incorporating a light source, which is a key component of the device, power supply, and filters, which modifies the output beam based upon the classification criteria. With the rising preference for the use of green energy, these devices are extensively being in many areas. Furthermore, Solar simulators also serve as the best alternative to conventional testing methods. The growth of the solar simulator market is attributed to growing investments in research and developments in the field of solar cells, UV resistant paints and cosmetics, medical fields, and aerospace, among many others.
Analysts anticipate that increasing green energy projects are expected to drive the solar simulator market onward.
With increasing pollution levels at alarming levels, many multinational conglomerates have begun emphasizing green projects to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and growing investments in eco-friendly sustainable projects. For instance, in April 2020, Mahindra Developers launched Mahindra Eden in India, the country's first net-zero energy residential project. This project was also certified by IGBC (Indian Green Building Council). The partial energy demand for this project was expected to be gathered from renewable sources from on-site wind and solar energy systems.
At the same time, the collaborations are also ongoing among different countries to proliferate growth in the related sectors. For instance, in May 2022, Germany and India signed a JDI (Joint Declaration of Intent) on Green and Sustainable Development collaboration. As part of this partnership, Germany is to provide €10 billion worth of additional development support till 2030 in the latter's green growth development plans. Acknowledging their responsibilities in safeguarding the planet's welfare, the two countries intended to promote sustainable and inclusive growth. While in November 2021, India and Britain launched the 'Green Grids Initiative – One Sun On World One Grid' to enhance the connections among the global electric power grids to boost the planet's evolution to greener energy systems.
Many companies are upscaling the developments in the solar simulator industry. For instance, in 2019, G2V and NREL collaborated to validate LED-based solar simulators and enhance the multi-junction testing. This comprehensive testing is said to substantially aid NREL and G2V, impacting wider solar cell development and the manufacturing industry.
Such strategic developments deployed by various nations and multinational conglomerates are expected to add impetus to the solar simulator market growth.
According to regional analysis, the Solar Simulator market in the Asia Pacific is expected to hold a significant share during the projected period.
The global probiotics market is segmented into five regions based on geography: Pacific Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and the Middle East and Africa. The growth in Pacific Asia is expected to be more significant owing to increasing demands in the countries like China, India, and Indonesia. The government initiatives on solar power and related fields are also one of the contributing growth factors in the said region. For instance, at the 75th United Nations General Assembly, in September 2020, the Chinese president announced the country's resolution to reduce green gases emissions and attain carbon neutrality by the year 2060.
While North America and Europe have implemented rigorous rules to decrease emissions and are investing more in renewable energy projects and energy-efficient sectors. The proliferation of commercial and industrial sectors and growing developments in the said sectors have augmented power consumption and government support for the development and commercialization of solar applications across the major countries, favorably expanding the solar simulator market landscape. For instance, in December 2020, WAVELAB Solar Metrology Systems and Aurora Solar Technologies announced strategic partnerships, wherein Aurora's data science offering 'Insight' for yield optimization of solar cells will be integrated with the former's solar testers. This strategic collaboration helped the two firms in co-marketing and developing new, additional value-added functionalities and features in their respective products, accelerating their growth.
Due to favorable conditions for energy production using solar applications, Latin America has emerged as a solar powerhouse. The solar simulator and solar power business in the area are reaching new heights thanks to rising demand, technological developments, and government legislation. For instance, in July 2021, Scatec Solar and Equinor, a major shareholder of the former, announced the commencement of operations their Guanizuil IIA plant in San Juan, Argentina. The said plant is owned and operated equally by both companies. With this partnership, the two companies were able to expand their footprint in Argentina. Also, in October 2021, EDP Group, a Portuguese-based electric utility firm, inaugurated a solar PV Plant in Pereira Barreto, Brazil. This solar plant is EDP's largest plant and also the fifth largest solar plant in Latin America. This project reflects the company's attempts to increase its footprint in the renewable energy sector and aid with the energy transition. According to the company, the technology is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 150 tonnes per year.
As for the Middle East and Africa, the increasing number of solar projects and investments in renewable energy infrastructure, as well as the replacement of power infrastructure, are expected to be important drivers of the solar simulator market. Masdar and EDF's strategic agreement to explore potential renewable energy prospects in Israel is the best example of this. In January 2021, the two firms teamed up after signing an agreement as an extension to support Israel's clean-energy goals. The country is planning to increase its energy production from renewable sources to 30 percent from 17 percent by 2030. To achieve this new goal, an additional 15 GW worth of solar capacity needs to be developed during this period.
COVID-19 negatively impacted the solar simulator market due to complete or partial closures of the industries due to mandated lockdown, reducing the production levels of many enterprises. In addition, there have been disruptions in the supply chain. The subsequent trade barriers have restrained the stock. However, in the post-COVID scenario, the solar simulator market is expected to bloom with the surging demand in various industry sectors in the forecast period.
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