Rising concerns about energy efficiency among construction companies, building managers, and owners – as well as across the automotive, marine, and power generation sectors – have been fueling demand for smart glass and windows.
Specifically, TMR – which has offices in Albany, New York, and in Pune and Kolkata, India – says that the global smart glass and window market was worth US$2.2 billion in 2014. The market is expected to reach US$6.07 billion by the end of 2021; and is projected to exhibit a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7 percent between 2015 and 2021.
Energy loss through traditional windows can account for almost 50 percent of the overall energy consumption across offices and residential buildings. Installing energy-efficient technologies manufactured using low-emissivity glass and multi-layer glazing can efficiently address such energy waste.
In addition automakers increasingly are using smart glass is in side and rear windows. This glass comes with fast-switching capabilities that reduce unwanted light and glare. By application, the automotive segment dominates the global sector. It held a market share of around 46.6 percent in 2014.
“The expansion of the existing applications areas to include the automotive, power generation, and construction industries will fuel demand for smart glass and windows in the forthcoming years,” says TMR.
Regionally, North America emerged as dominant in the overall market in 2014, with a market share of 31.8 percent. Europe held the second-largest market share that year and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 15.8 percent in the forecast period. The demand for smart glass and windows also is expected to increase in emerging economies, such as India and China, which exhibit rising energy consumption in residential, commercial, and transportation applications.
Moreover, with top players exploring newer applications of smart glass and windows, technological advancements in terms of features and structural design are in the cards.
TMR says there is just one major drawback that may affect the market within the next few years: Despite witnessing positive growth worldwide, the high cost of smart glass is expected to hamper the smart glass and window market. The price of smart glass and windows is nearly double that of static gazing glass and conventional high-performance glass.
However, the researchers say, prices of electrochromic materials are expected to decline in the future, which will subsequently bring down the cost of smart windows.