June 19, 2024

Silver Demand To Soar In Solar Energy Applications

Industrial applications for silver continue to increase based on silver’s unique chemical properties.  In 2010, total industrial demand applications for silver increased by almost 21% and since 2001 has increased by 40%.  Industrial applications now consume 46% of total world silver supply and are likely to show continued increases as new uses for silver are discovered.

One fast growing business sector that is projected to consume increasing amounts of silver is the solar energy industry.   According to the Silver Institute, the amount of silver used in photovoltaics could double by 2015 to 100 million ounces from last year’s consumption of 50 million ounces.  Based on last year’s supply statistics, solar energy applications would absorb almost 10% of total silver supply within the next four years.

According to the Silver Institute, silver is used as a film coating on photovoltaic cells to maximize light absorption which enhances the electric output of the cells.  Due to silver’s high efficiency in conducting both electrical and thermal energy, it is an essential component in photovoltaic produced energy.

The Silver Institute notes that silver’s use is also essential in many products of everyday life such as cells phones, personal computers and laptops, solid state lighting, global positioning devices and automobiles.

The Executive Director of the Silver Institute, Michael DiRienzo, stated that “Silver surround us.  And every day, from our commute to work, to our cell and smart phones, to the lighting in our workplace and homes, to our computers, silver is an important element which makes our lives more convenient and energy efficient.”