Amid growing concerns around the harmful environmental effects of fossil fuel powered, energy generation, governments around the world are emphasizing the adoption of renewable power generation technologies. Out of the various renewable power generation technologies available, such as solar cells, wind turbines, hydro stations etc., solar panels have emerged as the fastest growing renewable power option. Solar power installations doubled in capacity between 2016 and 2018 according to the International Energy Association, and accounted for 50% of all new renewable power capacity additions in 2018.
The low cost per kilowatt of energy generation, abundant availability of equipment such as solar panels and the highly decentralized nature of individual solar photovoltaic panel installations are the key factors that are driving this technology. Electronic specialty gases are commonly used in the manufacturing of solar cells, which are the key building blocks of a solar panel and the backbone of the technology. Extremely thin semi conductive layers as well as insulating films are applied on panels and wafers in a process chamber during manufacturing of solar cells.
Electronic specialty gases are used to clean these process chambers of any residue left by these films or layers and allow them to operate efficiently, playing a critical role in the overall process. Rapid growth in the solar power sector in the coming decade is projected to drive continuing production of solar panels and thus influence the market demand for electronic specialty gases.
The Global electronic specialty gases market was valued to be ~US$ 11,000 Mn in 2018 and is expected to exceed ~US$ 15,000 Mn by the end of 2029. The global electronic specialty gases market is projected to grow at a CAGR of ~3% during 2019-2029, and is estimated to reach a global value of ~US$ 15,000 Mn by the end of 2029.
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China is Emerging as the Frontrunner in Electronic Specialty Gases on the Backdrop of Cost-Effective Labor and Tax Waivers
According to PMR, the Chinese market is expected to be the most dominant market for electronic specialty gases globally due to the increasing number of semiconductor and electronic manufacturing units in the region. Increasing number of multinational companies engaged in the electronics industry are setting up production units in China owing to cheaper labor costs and additional benefits offered by the government in the form of tax cuts and waivers on additional overhead costs.
Furthermore, the stable political scenario and the rapidly growing economy of China is also resulting in many companies moving to China from the western countries. In terms of value, nitrogen trifluoride, hydrogen chloride, sulfur hexafluoride and disilane are the products that account for a substantial portion of the market demand. The large presence of semiconductor fabrication units as well the huge demand for electrical equipment such as transformers is projected to drive demand for the electronic specialty gases market in China.
The Growing Adoption of LED Lighting Technology Is Projected to Aid the Growth of the Electronic Specialty Gases Market
The ongoing miniaturization of electronic devices and the influx of technologically advanced electronic devices such as wearables and palmtops is one of the key factors which is helping the growth of the semiconductor industry. The development of Liquid Crystal Display and LED display devices is also helping in the growth of the market. The need for energy efficient electrical equipment for illumination such as LED lamps will continue to propel the growth of the electronic specialty gases market. Electronic specialty gases such as nitrogen trifluoride find increasing use in the manufacture of semiconductor industry products such as flat-panel displays and thin film solar cells.
Adoption of Environmental Friendly Products Is a Key Trend of the Electronic Specialty Gases Market
Electronics and semiconductor device manufacturers have been using products such as perfluorinated compounds for their industrial processes. These compounds are toxic in nature as well as responsible for substantial greenhouse gas emissions. However, with growing awareness of the need to reduce greenhouse emissions to mitigate the impact of global warming, they have begun adopting much more environmentally friendly products with lower emission rates. For example, the usage of nitrogen trifluoride in place of a perfluorinated compound results in 15% to 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from semiconductor industries. Thus, various end users are keen on the adoption of greener and sustainable products for their industrial end use purposes.
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On-Site Generation: A Key Winning Imperative in the Global Electronic Specialty Gases Market
The leading players in the production and supply of electronic specialty gases are offering on-site generation or separation plants to ensure continuous supply of high purity gases in order closely collaborate with their clients, ensuring long term partnerships. For example, Linde announced in May 2019 that it had set up a new plant at Samsung Display Complex in Korea to supply 700 tons of ultra-pure gaseous nitrogen for cooling and purging purposes at Samsung’s Production facility. Similarly, in June 2019, Air Products and Chemicals Inc announced that it had been awarded a contract to supply high purity nitrogen, on-site generation and associated systems, liquid argon, and operation and maintenance services to MEMC Korea’s new 300mm silicon wafer fabrication facility in Cheonan, South Korea.