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OptoLink International Edition (OLIE) is a quarterly magazine published by the Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association (PIDA).
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Global Photovoltaic Industry Outlook Feed-in Tariff Impact on Worldwide Photovoltaic Installation The Urgency for PV Development and Needs of HCPV Can CPV Reach Commercialization? Taiwan Photovoltaic Industry Overview Photovoltaic Industry Cluster in Taiwan PV Rush
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Angel Chiou, Dan Guo, Murphy Lin, Stephy Chen, Karen Ho, Deaphne Kuo, Jason Lu, Emily Hu
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Neo Solar Power: Aggressive Expansion for Uprising PV Market AUO Solar— the Trusted Name in Future PV Industry Gintech Prospers After the Storm Kinmac Solar: Cultivating Sustainable Environment through Photovoltaic Energy Motech Power: Power the World with Solar Energy
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Global Photovoltaic Indus
by Angel Chiou
Europe ● Market Demand from Europe reached 3,486 MW in 2009, a negative growth at 24% comparing with the previous year. ● Europe’s module manufacturing orders shift to Asia for lower cost after the economic turmoil. ● Germany replaces Spain to become the largest installer and accounts for 2,200 MW in 2009, an annual growth rate at 41%. ● Italy installed in 2009 grows 73% to reach 450 MW, remaining the third largest installer in Europe. ● Greece introduces new FIT in January 2009 to stimulate installation to grow from 60 MW in 2009 to 300 MW in 2013. However, one of the most important concerns for PV players worldwide is the government’s fiscal capacity. ● Czech Republic’s installation amount reached 90 MW in 2009 with the annual growth rate at 80%, and is highly potential to reach 310 MW in 2013. China ● Solar power installation in China is estimated to reach 2GW in 2013. ● The global downturn in 2009 enforces the transformation of China PV industry structure. The increasing domestic demand turns China from a global production base into one of the biggest application market. ● China’s on-grid solar market is expected to have explosive growth in 2010.
Fig1. Global PV Market Breakdown by Country
Fig2. Global Demand of Solar Power by Region
Others 4% Asia 16%
North America 14%
Courtesy: PIDA, 2010/1
Courtesy: PIDA, 2010/1
4 • OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1
● Korea actively completes its industry chain in recent years. There are over 50 PV companies in up-/mid-stream industry, half of which focus on solar cell manufacturing. Crystalline silicon solar cells are the major product for now. ● Korea’s crystalline silicon solar cell production capacity reached 386 MW in 2009. The annual capacity is expected to reach 150 MW.
USA ● US installed 750MW in 2009 with annual growth rate over 120%. ● California, New Jersey, Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona states amount to approximately 85% of the installation in the US. ● CSI (California Solar Initiative) Program aims to generate 1,950 MW by 2016. ● US is becoming one of the most promising market in near future. ● Buy American Act attracts foreign investment of PV players from Germany, China, Taiwan and etc.
Japan ● PV installation in Asia amounts 764 MW in 2009, taking 15% of the global share. Among other Asian countries, Japan’s installation tops with 480MW. ● Japan’s domestic demand rapidly increases in 2009. Residential solar power installation occupies about 90% of the domestic market in Japan. ● Japan transfers cell manufacturing orders to Taiwan due to cost concern.
Taiwan ● With the government’s support and several public policies, Taiwan PV application market generates 9 MW in 2009— a six-fold growth comparing with that in 2008. ● The export focus of Taiwan PV industry is reoriented toward Asia from Europe.
Fig3. Global Revenue of PV Industry Forecast
Fig4. Global PV Module Technology Breakdown
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2006 2007
a-Si 1% 7% 5%
CdTe 2% 15% 4%
CIGS 2% 17% 4%
0% 4% 4%
1% 6% 5%
2% 16% 6%
3% 16% 7%
Courtesy: PIDA, 2010/1
Courtesy: PIDA, 2010/1
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 5
Feed-in Tariff Impact on Worldwide Photovoltaic Installation
Article Published in InterPV Magazine, October 2009 Edition
With the annual installation capacity of photovoltaics reaching six gigawatts in 2008, it has become clearer that feed-in tariff incentives such as those used in Germany and Spain can give countries a dramatic advantage in establishing a competitive market for solar power. Aside from the USA which uses different incentive programs and Japan which stopped its own incentive program in 2005, all the major installers of photovoltaics in 2008 did so via a feed-in tariff. Following a slower increase in installations in 2009 due to the global recession, more panels remain available on the market. Countries designing an attractive tariff with sensible caps and accelerating grid connection and planning procedures could benefit from the oversupply of modules in 2010.
by Tomas Martin
rom a niche market at the beginning of the century, solar is rapidly becoming a major part of the renewable mix, with six gigawatts of PV installed in 2008 and twenty-two gigawatts a year predicted by 2013 by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. This does not include Concentrated Solar Thermal Power or Concentrated Photovoltaics. The Concentrated Solar Thermal Power industry alone has fourteen gigawatts in development for installation by 2014. Figure 1 shows the worldwide photovoltaic install base to date as well as a selection of projections for the next five years. Photovoltaics are a rapidly maturing technology. Efficiencies of silicon panels have reached 20% and higher, and cheaper thin film cells now account for a sixth of the global market. As silicon supply constrictions ease and manufacturing grows in sophistication, the price of a PV module is falling, with declines of as much as 35% predicted over the
coming twelve to eighteen months by the Renewable Energy Corporation. However, PV technology is still expensive compared to conventional fossil fuel power sources, and wind power. System install prices per watt are as much as six times more expensive than coal or gas, and roughly twice as expensive as a wind turbine. Despite the price, photovoltaics hold considerable advantages. In addition to emission-free generation, panels are long lasting and have no moving parts. Sunlight is a more reliable resource to predict and harvest than wind, which is far more variable. The low impact factor of a panel makes planning permission easier than wind and where economic considerations are favorable the installations of solar have proceeded far faster than competing renewables. In the coming decade, the over whelming downside of photovoltaics— high installation cost— is projected to disappear. Module price has been high
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historically due to a mismatch of silicon processing capacity to the demand for photovoltaic panels. Manufacturers have until recently placed a priority on efficiency and technology improvements over cost reductions in a market where they knew their product would sell out. That’s no longer the case. In some sunny countries, photovoltaics are projected to be cost competitive with conventional power by the middle of the decade or earlier by many experts, with McKinsey expecting at least 10 countries to see grid parity by 2020 and the EPIA projecting grid parity in Italy as early as 2010. 2009 saw poor performances in the first two quarters due to the impacts of the global recession and a widespread lack of financing. Full installation and manufacturing numbers for the year were not yet available at the time of writing, but it is expected that 2009 saw an increase in manufactured capacity to around 8GW, but a fall in installations to between a half to three quarters of its 2008 value. This oversupply of photovoltaic modules, in
addition to refined silicon price decreases and subsidy cuts in Germany and Spain has already begun to reduce module costs dramatically and will continue to do so into 2010. As the financial situation recovers and more investment becomes available, it is expected that installation figures will rebound as developers take advantage of the reduction in costs. Experts at Bank Sarasin project as much as 8.5GW of installed PV in 2010, with a rush to install in Germany before subsidies are cut halfway through the year, and a rebound in Spanish markets as projects become cost competitive even once the feed-in tariff cap is reached. Nevertheless, to encourage the solar industry to reach grid parity quicker, it needs stable, predicable demand for its product. The most effective way to do this is through government incentives, of which there are three main types: obligations, subsidies and feedin tariffs.
The alternative incentive schemes: Obligations and Subsidies
Mandate or obligation based incentives such
Fig.1 Reported and projected annual installations to 2013
Courtesy: Lux, Gartner, EPIA
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 7
as Renewable Portfolio Standards or Renewable Obligation Certificates are used in twenty-seven American states plus the District of Columbia and in the UK, Italy and Belgium. The schemes require power utilities to provide a specified proportion of their electricity generation from renewables. They receive certificates that can be sold to those who haven’t fulfilled their quota, in a system similar to the proposed carbon trading scheme. Although they have stimulated some installations, obligations have patchy effectiveness— once a quota is filled, for example, the demand to install drops entirely. They can also present serious long term financial uncertainty for investors due to their reliance on market-based systems, as in the UK case, where the final price received from a ROC depends on how many other people are claiming for them. The complexity of claiming certificates and the uncertainties involved makes obligations unattractive for small scale installations. Whilst utilities can afford to employ offices to deal with the procedure, the difficulties in claiming a few certificates a year for homeowner with a small photovoltaic installation are daunting. In addition, obligations historically have been insufficient to promote the desired demand without additional subsidies such as grants or tax credits. The UK power industry regularly fails to hit the targets set by its Renewable Obligation Scheme. Subsidies such as tax credits, rebates and grants are an effective stimulus for renewable installations. Japan became the world leader in both photovoltaics installations and manufacture in the early parts of the decade through a 50% grant for anyone installing photovoltaic panels. The 30% Production Tax Credit in the US is often credited with more stimulating effect than the Renewable Portfolio Standard. Subsidies require large amounts of money to be provided up front by governments, which poses economic and political issues. They also have demand issues. Once a subsidy reaches its quota or is removed, the demand for installations doesn’t just slow, it drops dramatically. The stop-start nature of the US Production Tax Credit in the last few years has played havoc with the American solar and wind industries, subjecting them to cycles of boom and
bust as subsidies were introduced and not consistently continued from year to year.
A feed in tariff by comparison has a defined rate of return guaranteed over a long time period, diminishing the risk for the investor. Power companies, governments or utilities are mandated to pay renewable electricity generators a premium price per kilowatt hour, substantially higher than the normal electricity price. The cost of this premium is levied from the utility bills of traditional retail customers, a revenue stream less subject to the whims of political budgets. The price offered is guaranteed to installers of renewable energy for a fixed long term contract, typically fifteen years. As the cost of renewables are mostly in the initial construction, their long term cost is quite reliable compared to fossil fuel generation, which has large variable fuel costs after construction. After construction, the price of generation of a wind turbine or photovoltaic panel is close to zero aside from maintenance and replacement parts. It is this fact that allows the feed-in tariff to be so precisely calculated, to ensure that the initial construction cost is paid back in an acceptable payback time. Each year the tariff price for new installations decreases by a set amount, with the aim of driving innovation and cost reductions by the technology companies. By decreasing the cost each year, the feedin tariff pushes the industry towards grid parity, the point at which renewable energy costs no more than the traditional cost of power. At this point the tariff is phased out, having done its job. By early 2009 forty-five countries and eighteen states or provinces had feed-in tariffs in place, with several others under discussion for introduction by 2010. By 2008 a number of incentives had been in place long enough to compare installation trends between countries with feed-in tariffs and those with competing strategies.
Additional benefits of feedin tariffs
One feature of feed-in tariff implementation has only been seen recently in those countries with large
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INDUSTRY NEWS Y
amounts of renewables installed, namely Germany and Denmark. Because of their feed-in tariffs, both countries have enough wind power to observe dramatic effects on electricity prices. Rather than the feed-in tariff increasing the cost of electricity to the consumer, the opposite effect has been seen, and electricity prices in Denmark have actually been reduced by more than the cost of the tariff to the consumer! The reason for this depends on the nature of electricity grids. A certain amount of electricity is prepurchased to match known demand. The remainder is bought and sold on the spot market depending on how much electricity is needed. Typically additional demand is filled by natural gas plants, which can be very expensive. In Germany and Denmark the cost of using wind or solar for this purpose is essentially free due to the lack of fuel costs. So if the wind is blowing or the sun is shining, the electricity companies can buy the renewable power instead of turning on expensive gas plants. The price of electricity has decreased as a result.
The impact of feed-in tariffs on installations
The impact of a feed-in tariff on installations has already been seen in wind, particularly in Germany and Denmark. First introduced in 1991, the German feedin tariff at first paid the same price for all renewable technologies. The expense of photovoltaics at that time made solar a relatively small part of the picture but wind installations grew dramatically. Wind energy accounted for 7% of German electricity in 2008, and over 20% of Denmark’s electricity supply. This has had a dramatic effect on renewable jobs in these countries. It is no coincidence that the biggest wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, is Danish. In addition to the capacity increases, the FiT’s year on year price decrease has stimulated cost reductions in the industry, with German wind farms on average a third cheaper than those produced under the UK Renewable Obligation scheme. Germany had an estimated 280,000 renewable jobs in 2008, up from 30,000 in 1998. Only in the past four years has the superiority of feed-in tariffs over other methods been confirmed in solar power. All of the countries with significant installations have done so using a feed-in tariff,
except for Japan and the USA. In most of the countries with significant PV installations, the vast majority of installations have occurred following the introduction of a feed-in tariff. Spain and Germany’s dramatic growth are the clearest indicators, but recent tariff introductions in Italy, South Korea, France, Portugal and the Czech Republic have all led to stimulation of previously insignificant markets for photovoltaics. Figure 2 shows a graph of annual solar power installations, grouped by country. Germany and Spain are the clearest examples of the feed-in tariff phenomenon. Germany’s solar installations had been modestly increasing under the existing 1991 Stromeinspeisungsgesetz (StrEG) act. However, when the scheme was revised in 2000 and 2004 with higher rates for photovoltaics, Germany saw a dramatic effect on solar uptake. By the end of 2008 5.3 gigawatts of PV had been installed from less than 100 megawatts before the feed-in tariff was revised in 2000. The scheme has no upper limit on installation capacity and has succeeded in boosting Germany’s share of renewables to 14% by 2007. The Spanish example seen second from the left in figure two is the most dramatic effect of a feed-in tariff. In Spain’s case, where the amount of sunlight received makes any tariff seem very attractive, the scheme was actually too successful in promoting installations. The 2007 Royal decree for renewables in Spain introduced a feed-in premium system where a certain guaranteed premium was added to the electricity price for renewables. The Spanish government anticipated installations below 1GW. However, by September 2008 it was clear that far more solar had been installed than anticipated. Assessments vary between 2.6 and 3.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic installed before the tariff cutoff date of September 2008. The uptake in Spain was so strong that PV was removed from the general tariff and a new 2008 decree was set with lower rates. To prevent a similar rush, the 500 megawatt limit to Spanish installations will be parcelled out over the course of 2009. This new low cap is largely responsible for the large amounts of panels expected to be manufactured in 2009 without a buyer. The delay for the 2009 tariff due to backlog of 2008 applicants is believed to have lost
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 9
15,000 Spanish solar-related jobs since summer 2008. The strong solar insolation in Spain, combined with the decrease in module prices, means this market is close to competitive even without the tariff going into the new decade. Countries with more recent tariff introductions, such as France, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, the Czech Republic and South Korea, have all shown smaller echoes of the effects seen in Germany and Spain.
From negligible annual install quantities, each of these countries has started installing significant amounts of photovoltaics in the year following the introduction of a tariff, which has increased consistently year on year.Japan, which had been a world leader in PV capacity, displays the opposite effect to this phenomenon – once the 50% grant was removed in 2005, the amount of annual installations reached a plateau and began to fall. Even with an
Fig.2 Installations per year for countries before and after feed in tariff introduction show dramatic impact of this
Annual PV installations by country in MW
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
2007: Spain introduses feed in tariff, tariff revised in September 2008 due totoo much demand
2,500 2004: Germany modifies existing tariff to far more attractive incentive, growth booms 2007: Italy reorganises 2005 decree with more favourable tariff 2005: Japan stops incentive program, installations plateau
2006: South Korea introducesariff
0 Germany Spain Japan USA Italy South Korea
Courtesy: SEIA, EPIA, Worldwatch
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established photovoltaic industry and many of the bigger module manufacturers, Japan has yet to recover to its 2005 levels. The USA principally aims to stimulate renewable installations via the aforementioned Renewable Portfolio Standards and 30% Production Tax Credits. It has seen some success, with California and New Jersey in particular installing large quantities of photovoltaics thanks to their incentive schemes. The
PTC has been a key driver in this, but the uncertainty of continued funding each year has had a negative effect on solar jobs and installations. The extension of the tax credit in the 2009 Stimulus package for seven years should alleviate this problem in the future. Legislators in Florida, Michigan, Vermont, Hawaii and Illinois have all moved to introduce feed-in tariffs in the last few years. In the wake of the success of Germany and
type of incentive.
2005：Czech Republicintroduce s FiT, improvedin subsequent years 2006: France introduces feed in tariff 2005: Portugal redesigns 2010 FiT
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 11
Spain’s feed-in tariffs, the measure has increased i n p o p u l a r i t y, w i t h O nt a r i o, Sw i t z e r l a n d , Greece, California, Israel and much of Australia introducing comparable measures. The UK has also introduced legislation, with the 2008 Energy Act mandating a feed-in tariff to be in place in the UK by the start of 2010. Of the new tariffs, the Canadian province of Ontario looks the most attractive, with attractive pricing for installations under 10kW of 80c/kWh. If the tariff is similar to the drafts seen, the annual cap of 10MW for photovoltaics should be reached.
Conditions for a good tariff
The precondition of a successful tariff is that the price of the tariff reflects the local insolation and product install price. As regions like Spain or California receive as much as twice the amount of sunlight over the course of the year than the UK or Germany their tariff can afford to be lower. If you can produce twice as much power for the same cost of panel, the price per unit generated decreases proportionally to get a good payback time. Assuming that the tariff will be set a level that reflects the local insolation levels, there are two main considerations besides price for a tariff that will enhance its success. Firstly, the incentive should be consistent over a number of years, giving stability for smaller investors in a way that market driven systems do not. In addition any cap on installations should be low enough so as to prevent an unsustainable rush to install as seen in Spain, but high enough that sufficient demand is satisfied to grow the industry, something which grant systems do poorly. If governments are serious about expanding photovoltaic capacity, the cap for PV should be at least several hundred megawatts a year in the long term. A cap that grows incrementally each year as the tariff price decreases would be one way of ensuring industry growth. So if feed-in tariffs are so attractive, why have some countries implementing them, such as Greece and Italy, not seen installations on the scale of Spain and Germany despite high insolation levels? The key stumbling block in these circumstances is typically bureaucratic; if a panel is going to have a favorable
payback time but due to planning processes won’t be installed for eighteen months, companies become a lot more reluctant to enter the market. France is a good example of this effect, with hundreds of megawatts of photovoltaics installed in the ground by the end of 2008 not producing power due to administration delays by the utility responsible for connecting them to the electricity grid. The access to grid connection and planning permission queues should be accelerated to prevent hold-ups through administration costs. Grid connection is currently less a problem in solar compared to wind due to the relatively small quantities of capacity typically being installed. The lower demand for grid access in sunny regions and cities rather than traditional power corridors will initially allow easy connection for many projects. As the number of installations grows, this will likely become less simple and steps will need to be made that installations are not left unconnected as in France.
More than anything, feed-in tariffs are successful because they offer stability and guarantee in a fastmoving climate. If structured well a feed-in tariff can give a payback time and rate of return favorable for both homeowners and investors, making financing much easier. Smoothing the planning and grid connection processes to make installations easier and faster ensures the success of an incentive. With the Spanish subsidy collapsing so much compared to last year and prices falling rapidly, there remains considerable upside for the governments implementing favorable incentive policies. As we move into the new decade, more inventory is available at a lower price than ever before, waiting for a market. Feed-in tariffs introduced by the UK, Ontario and states in America and Australia could all reap the benefits over the next two years.
>> Tomas Martin is a Solar Analyst for the Wind Prospect Group, writer and researcher in Lithiated nanodiamond thermionics at Bristol University.
12 • OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1
The Urgency for PV Development and Needs of HCPV
by Yingling Wang, I-Tao Lung, Cherg-Tsong Kuo
he climate changing presents a threatening subject for all mankind which became the main topic in Copenhagen climate summit. Almost all countries have promised to reduce carbon dioxide emission from 17% to 45%. The conclusion is acceptable though not satisfied; however, the consensus brought about the demand of photovoltaic urgently. Table 1 listed below has shown that there is trace carbon dioxide emission from photovoltaic power plant. As habitants concerning the fate of earth, the government of Taiwan has boosted the development of high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) system in Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER) from 2003 which is much earlier than the climate summit. The main reasons of developing HCPV are based on its high efficiency and high concentration characteristics of the system. Therefore, HCPV get the highest potential to reduce the cost for power
generation amongst all PV systems. As mentioned above, INER has been developing the technology of HCPV since 2003, basically taking the technology of irradiation detecting technology applied to the III-V group photovoltaic cell. The previous accomplishments are described as follows.
photovoltaic 1 The 100 kW high concentrationOctober, 2007. system was established in the end of The system is composed of 21 sets (each with 12 modules) of 1.5 kW roof-top and 14 sets (each with 40 modules) of 5 kW pillar-stand (shown as Figure1). This system was the biggest HCPV demonstration system in Taiwan before 2008.
INER 2 The efficiency of solar cell, fabricated byreaches cooperated with domestic epitaxy suppliers, up to 37.1% (shown as Figure 2), and is expected to be improved to more than 40% in 2010.
been are 3 32 patents have patentacquired, and 93 inventsThe undertaken the application procedures.
Table 1 Carbon dioxide emission amount from miscellaneous power plants
CO2 emission Power plant Coal power plant Oil power plant LPG power plant Taichung Photovoltaic Power Plant
Courtesy: Taipower Co., Taiwan
Unit (Kg/kWh) 0.914 0.601 0.438 0.005
97,000 kWh generated per year, 60 tons of CO2 emission saved per year
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 13
Fig.1 100 kW HCPV System at INER (left— 5 kW, pillar-stand 14 sets; right— 1.5 kW, rooftop 21 sets)
with 4 The concentration module ratio 476 times geometric concentrating has been
HCPV industry in Taiwan is thus supportively established with plenty of patents.
developed, and the highest module efficiency is 27.2%, while that of the conventional siliconbased module is approximately 13~15%. The
te ch nol o y t r ans fe and 5 Ni ne ite ms ofhave been gcompleted.r The authorization technology includes 3 items of solar cell manufacturing process and its characteristics measurement technology, 4 items of CPV module manufacturing and its characteristics technology, and 2 items of CPV tracker manufacturing and its characteristics detecting technology. Two items of technology transfer are under negotiation presently. INER is aggressively pushing HCPV to be industrialized, and promotes the new generation of HCPV to be rooted domestically.
new algorithm and control mechanism have been derived to increase the accuracy of tracking. Presently, the tracking accuracy is ≦0.3.
Fig.2 IV curve for cell
been provided. 6 11 cases of technical service hadwere two cases The contents of the service
sig ne t cont 7 INER has of USAd forheassistingrac t w it h UL corporation and reviewing
of high efficiency multi-junction solar cell manufacturing and its characteristic testing, five cases of concentration module optical device and its characteristic testing, one case of spectrum response testing, and three cases of solar module qualification testing. Besides, there is one case of technical service under executing. All these jobs have greatly promoted the technology for the domestic suppliers to the international HCPV field.
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Fig.3 MW HCPV plant
the concentration module qualification capability conforming with IEC 62108 in INER, and has acquired international certification in Oct. 2009, and can provide the qualification service for the domestic suppliers. This can reduce the time required for the suppliers to pass the UL certification to gain the international market, especially that of USA. INER has built eight irradiation collecting stations unique in Taiwan, which can gather direct normal irradiance (DNI) and global solar irradiance (GSI), also provide the real time monitoring. The acquired data will work as a reference for investors to evaluate the feasibility of establishing the CPV plant.
qualification center 9 INER has established HCPV in 2009 to execute at Kaohsiung Science Park technology promoting, and provide module qualification service, which effectively help the related supplier of the HCPV field develop the technology, and acquire the certification to compete internationally.
One MW HCPV demonstration system which includes 21 sets of 5 kW and 120 sets of 7.5 kW HCPV system has been completed in the end of 2009 (see Figure 3). This is the biggest HCPV demonstration system in Asia.
With abundant accomplishments above, INER still speed up its efficiency enhancement and cost reduction of HCPV system. The major efforts recently are centered on two topics; one is increasing the concentration ratio of the module, and the other is enhancing the accuracy of the tracker. The new style 900x concentration photovoltaic module is manufactured with the technologies of high performance lens, and vacuum welding, and the efficiency is reached to 26.61% under outdoor testing with 795 W/m2 DNI. The tracker is designed by adapting digital signal technology to filter the false signal of sun position sensor. The purpose of the modification will make the controller of the tracker track sun according to the actual signal, and the accuracy of the tracker is thus improved. Accordingly, the accuracy of the tracker is enhanced to ±0.2 degree. Seeding on the field of HCPV, INER demonstrates the fruitful harvest above. Nevertheless, all past efforts had become monument of green energy. The biggest obstacle for HCPV still exists. Trying reducing the cost for the power generated by HCPV is an issue to be conquered. Nonetheless, the step on improvement of HCPV is a never ending story, and continuously brings the whole world walk into solar energy kingdom.
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 15
Fig.4 3kW HCPV System by Arima Eco Energy
Courtesy: Arima Eco Energy
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HCPV Industry Chain in Taiwan
A III-V Epi Chip
C+D Module / System
Arima Eco Energy (s)
M-Com CompSolar (s) Solapoint
Arima Eco Energy
Ching Ming Shan Optronics
KIMOGA CO., LTD .
Green Source Technology
Spirox Motech Advanced Renewable Energy Inc. (AREi)
Top Tower Technology (3T)
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 17
CInstitute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER)
Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER)
Veeco Industry Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
Chung-Shan Institute of Science & Technology (CSIST)
National Central University
Fig.5 The 300kW CPV power plant project installed by Arima Eco Energy at ISFOC in Spain
Courtesy: Arima Eco Energy
18 • OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1
Can CPV Reach Commercialization?
Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV) technology, which combines high efficiency cells with low cost, concentrating optical systems, is poised to enjoy a bright future in distributed generation and large-scale power generation. Nancy Hartsoch, VP of SolFocus, explains how this solar technology is earning its place in the sun through high energy yield.
Article Published in InterPV Magazine, December 2009 Edition
by Nancy Hartsoch
Solar Deployments: Conversion Efficiency and Cost
In just one hour, more solar energy is delivered to the earth’s surface than it takes to power the entire globe for a whole year. That being said, efficiently capturing, converting and delivering this energy is a complex challenge requiring new technologies and advances to existing technologies. A key focus for the PV industry has been reducing the amount of expensive PV material used in a solar panel. One such approach has been thin films, which use materials such as amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride or copper gallium indium diselenide to capture sunlight energy. Thin film costs have
shown significant advantage, but efficiency of these systems is typically low. The result is use of larger land or lower energy generation from fixed areas of deployment. Another approach has been Concentrator PV (CPV) which has gone the opposite direction in terms of efficiency.
CPV systems use high efficiency compound semiconductor technology to generate the highest efficiency systems available in the market today with cell efficiencies approaching 40%, more than twice that of typical PV. The basic premise is that the optics in a concentrator system are significantly less
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 19
Fig.1 Sunlight is collected by the primary mirror, reflected back to the secondary mirror, and then is concentrated 650 times down the optical rod and onto the high efficiency solar cell
Fig.2 Comparison of panel efficiencies for various technologies
CPV Best Thin Film 35% Secondary Mirror Rated Efficiency 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Optical Rod Primary Mirror 2009 2010
Best PV Typical PV
expensive than PV cells. The less cell area used per unit, the lower the overall cost of the system. With the SolFocus CPV system, a multi-junction PV cell of 1 square centimeter is illuminated by the sun magnified 650 times. This means that the sunlight covering 650 square centimeters is collected and redirected onto a single 1 square centimeter cell, thus dramatically cutting the cost per unit of energy as compared to conventional PV technologies. Figure 1 shows the SolFocus reflective optical system. It uses a primary mirror to collect the sunlight, reflecting it back to a secondary mirror and then concentrating the sunlight on the high efficiency solar cell at the base of the optical rod.
Understanding CPV’s High Energy Yield
Panel efficiency, energy profile, and temperature performance are all combined to provide the highest energy yield in high solar resource regions.
High Efficiency Systems
efficiency compared with typical PV at around 15% efficiency and thin films with around 11% efficiency. There are two critical things to understand here. First, today, efficiencies of CPV are dramatically higher than other technologies. Second, the headroom for future advances in CPV technology are much higher than for other technologies. Over the next three years, CPV technologies could see another 25% of increase in efficiency. Traditional silicon-based PV will not be able to realize these types of gains as the technology is approaching its theoretical limits. Efficiency matters a lot in these cases, as it is the biggest driver for cost reduction. CPV will continue to offer dramatic increase in efficiency, thus, increase in energy generation. The technology will also benefit from significant cost reductions in manufacturing as today’s small volume will ramp to significant volume in the next few years. Other technologies are likely going to see only modest gains in both efficiency improvements and manufacturing cost reductions.
Consistent Energy Production
High concentration CPV systems provide the highest efficiency of any solar technology available today. That means that when sunlight is captured, a much larger amount of that sunlight is converted into electricity. Figure 2 shows an example of the conversion efficiencies for various PV technologies. Today, leading CPV systems have around 25%
Another important element of high energy yield is consistent energy production throughout the day. Because CPV systems function like telescopes, they must track the sun accurately as it moves across the sky from sunup to sundown. To do so, high concentration panels are mounted on dual-axis trackers. Tracking
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Fig.3 Shown above is the energy production curve for a typical day at a power plant in Puertollano, Spain owned and operated by ISFOC. The CPV systems reach peak production early in the morning, and continue at a steady rate until sundown.
Fig.4 Comparison of CPV technology utilizing high-efficiency multi-junction PV cells with Mono-Si, Poly-Si and thin-film PV technologies. CPV suffers from very little performance degradation even at temperature of 40˚C.
Puertollano, Spain. May 2009 SolFocus CPV 7.0 6.0 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 -1.0
05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00
Actual Power compared to Rated Powe r Rated Power Power@20C Ambient Power@40C Ambient 70% Rated Efficiency 75% 80% 85% 90% 95% 100% CPV Mono-SiPV Poly-SiPV Thin-Film
Typical PV FIxed Tilt
AC Output Power [kW]
the sun throughout the day provides a much more consistent energy production curve than fixed tilt systems. Whereas solar technologies mounted in fixedtilt positions have a daily energy production profile resembling a curve which peaks mid-day and drops off rapidly, dual-axis trackers enable CPV systems to produce peak power levels starting in the early morning and continuing until dusk. In Figure 3, the CPV energy production curve has very broad shoulders compared with traditional PV systems. The benefits of this daily power profile actually extend beyond simply producing more energy. Because CPV produces energy at a steady rate throughout the day and the power production remains at high levels during hours of peak demand in the afternoon, tracking makes solar systems more suitable to meet the demand profile of utility systems. When deployed in large volume, tracked CPV systems operate similarly to intermediate natural gas power plants— starting early in the day and maintaining power production until early evening hours.
High Performance at High Temperature
Degradation due to temperature is an important performance issue for PV technologies. Silicon PV and thin-film PV operating in the sunny regions of the world suffer from significant performance degradation as temperatures increase. This is a characteristic inherent in materials used in
the technologies, not a reflection on the PV panels themselves. Figure 4 illustrates this point, but requires some further understanding. Two factors come to play in understanding temperature performance when comparing PV technologies. First, the rating system used for traditional PV and thin films is different from that used for CPV. PV panels are rated at a cell temperature of 20°C with a flash test. As soon as these panels are put on sun, the cell temperature will be much higher so that rated level of the panel will never be achieved when placed in the sun. CPV panels are rated at 20°C of ambient temperature not cell temperature. Therefore, when these panels are put on the sun in a 20°C of ambient environment, they will perform at their rated level. Beyond the difference in rating systems, CPV systems have a temperature coefficiency less than half of the typical coefficiency for silicon PV (-0.21% for CPV compared with -0.48% for poly Si PV). Figure 4 shows that in an operating environment of 40°C, poly-si PV will be operating at less than 80% of its rated level, and thin-film at around 89% of its rated level. In the case of a CPV panel rated at 300 watts, you would get 300 W of power from that panel at 20°C, and 288 W of power if temperatures hit 40°C. For poly-si panels, at 20°C, the panel which was purchased at a 300 W rating would only be producing around 260 W, and that would drop to less than 240 W as temperatures reached 40°C.
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 21
Fig.5 Example of a 10 MW Power Plant in various locations around the world. Demonstrates the energy generation differences for those technologies at given levels of DNI (Direct Normal Insolation).
Fig.6 The chart above shows the energy output per month per array from November 2008 to August 2009 together with the cumulative solar irradiation recorded over the period. The energy produced was 103% of predicted energy under normal operations. The chart shows data under normal operating conditions. Data collected during engineering testing or when DNI measurements were inaccurate were excluded. This occurred particularly in January and February.
Energy Produced per Array per Month [Wh]
40,000 Megaatt Hours 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0
Jaen, Spain (DNI 5.5) Alice Spring, Australia (DNI 7.2) Daggett, CA (DNI 7.5) Calama, Chile (DNI 9.8)
900,000 800,000 700,000 600,000 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 No v08 De c08 Ja n09 Fe b09 M ar -0 9 M ay -0 9 M ay -0 9 Ju n09 Ju l-0 9 Au g09
This is very critical in understanding and forecasting energy yields from a plant. Energy output per megawatt will be significantly higher for CPV than for any other PV technology.
High Yielding Power Plants
When you combine the high efficiency, consistent energy production, and performance at high temperature, CPV offers dramatically higher energy generation. Figure 5 provides a comparative example of a 10 megawatt power plant utilizing typical PV, thin film, and CPV technology. The chart also shows that energy production in various geographies. The chart brings light to a very important element of CPV technology: it requires direct sunlight. Since the optics function as telescopes, they can only capture and utilize that sunlight which shines directly on the concentrator. Diffused and indirect sunlight cannot be used by CPV systems, making CPV technology ideally suited to those regions of the world where the solar resource is high. Such areas from a general perspective include the Southwest US, parts of Asia, southern Europe, Australia, northern Africa, South Africa, and parts of Latin America. In Figure 5, a 10 MW power plant in a high solar resource region
like Chile would generate nearly 80% more energy utilizing CPV technology than it would by using traditional PV. On the other hand, in moderate solar resource area such as Spain, CPV would still produce more energy, but not as much as in higher direct sunlight areas. For CPV, it is important that plants be located where the solar resource is at its highest. In this case, the energy yield advantages are extremely significant.
CPV at the Megawatt Scale
One of the first significant deployments of CPV technology was in Castilla la Mancha, Spain in 20082009. Under the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science program, Instituto de Systemas Fotovoltaico de Concentration (ISFOC), a 3 MW CPV installation has been developed using a variety of CPV technologies. In addition to producing large amounts of power, the project provides crucial performance and reliability testing for these new technologies. These installations are not limited to power plants, they have become the proving ground for this innovative new technology. Systems manufactured by SolFocus, Concentrix and Isofoton, were the first to be installed in the
22 • OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1
2 Recorded DNI per Month [W/m ]
SolFocus-CPV Thin Film-Fixed Tilt Avg Si PV-Fixed Tilt
Monthly Energy Produced, Energy Predicted, DNI Energy Produced Per Array Energy Predicted Per A Best PV
project. The SolFocus installations include a 200 kW plant in Puertollano and a 300 kW plant in Almoguera. In total, 87 SolFocus arrays were installed in 2008. (Note: the arrays installed in 2008 were the first generation SolFocus SF-1000 systems with a rated power of 6.2 kW per array compared with systems being sold today with a rated power of 9.24 kW per array.) With this project at Puertollano having been grid connected for over a year, the company has been able to complete performance analysis. The results provide evidence that CPV technology is able to produce energy as forecasted. Figure 6 shows that energy produced was 103% of predicted energy output under normal operations. This is a significant achievement for CPV.
Anatomy of SolFocus CPV System
Primary Mirror Secondary Mirror Optical Rod High Efficiency Solar Cell (at base of optical rod) POWER UNIT: Each CPV power unit is comprised of a Cassegrain Imaging Concentrator including primary mirror and secondary mirror, a receiver which incorporates a tertiary non-imaging optic a multi-junction PV cell, and heat spreader.
Bright Future for CPV
It’s clear that when it comes to solar energy, there is no solar silver bullet. All technologies bring advantages to given applications and geographies. When compared to other PV technologies in regions with high direct sunlight, CPV brings a number of advantages than other PV technologies including higher efficiencies, higher energy yield, and lower energy cost. Increasingly, solar technologies are also being evaluated for the sustainability of its manufacturing and land use. CPV systems offer the lightest environmental footprint of all solar technologies. Another growing solar technology is Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), sometimes called solar thermal solutions. CSP is also targeted to the high solar resource regions. Depending on the application, however, CPV offers a number of advantages. If there is a limited supply of water in the region (CSP consumes up to 1000 gallons of water per megawatt hour), environmental constraints around land use, or protection of existing eco systems, then CPV is highly advantaged compared with CSP. Or, if the plant size is less than 100 MW or needs to be deployed rapidly, CPV can provide capability not available with CSP. The opportunity for solar as a renewable energy source is huge and the future for CPV is very bright. The key is in continuing to progress down the commercialization path with highly reliable products
CPV PANEL: Multiple power units (20 in the SolFocus SF-1100 system) are integrated into a panel with electrical interconnection. Power units are enclosed between an aluminum "backpan" and front glass.
CPV ARRAY: The basic system, the array, is a parquet of 28 panels sitting on a flat frame, atop a two axis tracker and producing 9.24 kWDC at 850 W/ m2 direct irradiance. The tracker sits on a pedestal and follows the sun to an accuracy of approximately ± 0.10.
that meet the industry’s stringent certifications and can be manufactured at low cost in high-volume factories. Today, there are several suppliers of CPV that are at this stage and 2010 should find more moving down that curve.
>> Nancy Hartsoch is Vice President at SolFocus (www.solfocus.com).
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 23
Taiwan Photovoltaic Industry Overview
by Angel Chiou
Taiwan photovoltaic industry revenue faces recession through upstream to downstream in 2009 due to the influence of global downturn. The total revenue shrinks to NTD 86.9 billion in 2009 with negative growth rate at 18% comparing with that in 2008 (see Figure 1). The majority of revenue comes from
midstream wafer-based and thin-film solar cells, which take approximately 70% revenue share of the industry by NTD 60.7 billion. Among all, wafer-based solar cell manufacturing brings a production value of NTD 59.3 billion. Upstream silicon ingot & wafer and mid-todown- stream module and system installation
Fig.1 Revenue of Taiwan PV industry grew negatively in 2009 but is estimated to exceed NTD 100 billion this year.
Courtesy: PIDA, 2010/1
24 • OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1
Fig.2 Taiwan Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell Capacity
Fig.3 Taiwan Crystalline Silicon PV Module Capacity
Taiwan 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 2008 2009 85 2,517 1,742
China Unit: MW 2,000
China Unit: MW
987 766 530 250 2009 540 2010
500 150 2008
Courtesy: PIDA, 2009/12
Courtesy: PIDA, 2009/12
take only 26% and 2% share of the total revenue respectively. Upstream silicon ingot & wafer though represents a decline of revenue still reaches NTD 23 billion. In 2010, since the economy began recovery, photovoltaic industry is estimated to have an over 23% growth to reach NTD 110 billion. To see from a perspective of PV technologies, crystalline silicon solar cell plays the role of the biggest support for Taiwan PV industry revenue. The economic turmoil led to a dramatic price decline in crystalline silicon earlier last year, making the advantage of thin-film solar cells as lower cost to be in vain. Although thin-film and CIGS solar cells had put into production since last year, there were not much helpful for the revenue in total. The annual capacity of Taiwan crystalline silicon solar cells reached 2,887 MW in 2009, growing 58% from the previous year, as Figure 2 shows. Since Taiwan PV players move westward to establish sites in China, 15% of the capacity (approximately 710 MW) is generated in China. PIDA analysts expect Taiwan crystalline silicon
companies to reach an overall production capacity of 4,417 MW as of 2010 with the growth rate up to 60%. On the other hand, the capacity of Taiwan crystalline silicon PV modules grows 49% to reach 1,016 MW in 2009, and is forecasted to further grow 45% in 2010 to reach 1,477 MW. Among all, capacity produced by Taiwan companies in China takes 37% share of the total amount (see Figure 3). In the first half of 2009, Taiwan PV players enhanced their R&D ability amid the financial crisis and launched high efficiency single-/poly- crystal silicon solar cells. According to estimation, the gross profit margin of high efficiency single-/polycrystal silicon solar cells would increase by 5% than conventional solar cells, and the proportion also continue rise since 2010. Since the global economy again goes steady along with the extension of solar subsidies worldwide, PIDA forecasts an optimistic 58%growth of global PV market this year. Revenue of Taiwan PV industry as a whole would also grow 23% to reach NTD 110 billion.
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 25
Taiwan Solar Power Installation & Roadmap
2010 /11.6 MWp 2012 /60 MWp 2008 / 5 MWp 2011 / 35 MWp
To comply with the government’s promotion of green energy and policy of domestic demand expansion, the Solar Power Plan launched by Taipower expects to reach 10 MW in 2011. Solar Community
2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
2006 / 1.3 MWp
2009 / 9 MWp 2007 / 2 MWp
▲Hsinchu Branch of Livestock Research Institute
2005 2004 2003 2002 2001
▲Liudai Hakka Cultural Park
2005 / 980 kWp
MOEA's Remote Areas Emergency Project
2004 / 500 kWp
Solar City was put into practice by the Bureau of Energy according to the Planning and Implementation of the Challenge 2008 National Development Plan.
2002 / 230 kWp
Energy Commission granted full subsidy of PV installation to government building projects.
▲Keelung Islet 4.4 kWp
2003 / 370 kWp 2001 / 110 kWp
▲Taipei Water Department 6.48 kWp
Courtesy: Photovoltaics Technology Center, ITRI/Edited by PIDA
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Photovoltaic Industry Cluster in Taiwan
he photovoltaic (PV), or solar cell industry in Taiwan has been developing vigorously in recent companies are devoted or planning to invest in mid stream or down stream solar cell products , applications or related accessories industries. Therefore, the entire industry supply chain was established and the
industry cluster was also strengthened. The annual capacity of the solar cell industry has made Taiwan one of the top five solar cell manufacturing country in the world. Of all the PV suppliers in Taiwan, there’s a trend of suppliers gathering in the science parks to exploit the synergy and collaboration of the vertically integrated clusters, as shown in Figure1.
Hsin-Chu Science Park
Central Taiwan Science Park
Southern Taiwan Science Park
Fig.1 Taiwan PV clusters in science parks (thin-film & CPV included)
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Fig.2 Taiwan PV Production Value Breakdown
(Southern Taiwan Science Park)
(Central Taiwan Science Park)
(Hsin-Chu Science Park)
Note 1: The statistics is complied based on all PV productions Note 2: STSP leads other science parks with a share of 40% of total PV cell production
As for now, most PV companies gather in HsinChu Science Park (HSP) and Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP). As shown in fig.2, it can be seen that companies in these two science parks contribute more than 60% of the total production value in Taiwan. As to HSP, notable players include DelSolar Co., Ltd., E-Ton Solar, Gintech Energy Corporation, Motech Industrial Inc., Neo Solar Power Corp. (NSP) and more. The revenue of these companies amounted to near 40 billion NT dollars in 2009 and occupies more than 40% of the total production value of Taiwan, though presenting a 16% decrease from that in 2008. In the Southern Taiwan Science Park, a complete PV industry supply chain, from upper stream material, middle stream cell, to down stream module/ system, is gradually taking shape as Motech pursues a vertical integration strategy and Delta steps into the module production and system installation field. The production value of STSP is estimated to be 16 billion NT dollars, about 18% of the total production value; besides, as Motech, Kenmos Photovoltaic, Taiphotovoltaic technology, Taiwan Polysilicon, MJC PROBE, Gloria Solar, NANO-WIN TECH, and Delta have their production bases firmly rooted in STSP. The STSP is aiming to become a significant PV industry cluster in the Southern Taiwan region. In the Central Taiwan Science Park, NexPower
Technology Corporation was founded by one of the worldwide leading IC foundry providers, UMC Group. Since 2005, NexPower sees itself as the pioneer in the silicon thin film industry in Taiwan. Another thin film player Sunner Solar Corporation was founded in June, 2007. In the first phase, Sunner Solar will employ a 25MW a-Si PV module production line, and will later involve the production of the latest thin film product of amorphous and microcrystalline tandem in the second phase. Furthermore, in the module field, Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan (ITRI) works with Suntop Solar Energy to optimize the process technology for PV module. In addition, other companies distributed outside the science parks contributed 31.1 billion NT dollars to the total production value of Taiwan, or a 35% of share for 2009. As for now, most Taiwan PV manufacturers in the science parks concentrate in the middle stream field. But when more companies are hurrying to raise their capacities in this sector, many have noticed the importance of material and silicon wafer and shifted to the upper stream sector. For example, SR Solar Taiwan, which is mainly invested by SRI (US), planned to use sodium reduction process to manufactur polysilicon. Led by thin film makers NexPower Technology and Sunner Solar, and then followed by ITRI and Suntop Solar Energy, more PV compaies are responding to CSP’s recruitment; therefore, in the future, CSP is looking to catch up with and even surpass the production values of HSP and STSP.
High Efficiency Race
There’s a trend observed from the HSP tenant enterprises that efficiency is now the first priority for manufacturing building silicon-based solar cells. For example, DelSolar is expanding its R&D efforts from the solar cell manufacturing process to related issues and equipment both upstream and downstream. DelSolar partnered with upstream companies, SinoAmerican Silicon Products, Inc., and Green Energy Technology Inc. and the downstream company Tynsolar Corp. to deliver cell conversion efficiencies of 17.2 percent for mono-silicon solar cells and 16 percent for multi-silicon solar cells with a wafer thickness of 180µm. Up to now, the DelSolar R&D
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Fig.3 6 inch high efficiency poly solar cell from Gintech
2bas-bar Size Thickness Gap Width of front electrode Width of back electrode
156mmx156mm±0.5mm 180~200μm±30μm 75mm 2.0mm 52mm 1.5mm
team has realized the efficiency to 18.7% and 17.3% on mono- and multi-Si cells, respectively. Gintech started to provide Douro, a polycrystalline silicon solar cell with a conversion efficiency of 16.6% in 2009. The new cell measures 156 x 156mm, and the substrate is 180 to 200μm thick. Gintech is currently selling its cells in 42 categories with conversion efficiencies from 15 to 17%. In addition to the polycrystalline silicon cell, Gintech enhanced the conversion efficiency of its monocrystalline silicon solar cell to 17.1% or higher on average by improving the manufacturing process.
efficiency, and its design can be combined with the exterior hues of buildings and houses, to enhance color coordination. Meanwhile, Gintech also announced in 2009 to provide green, purple, grey and silver color solar cells with transfer efficiency as high as 16%. The leading PV company Motech Solar is tapping into the color solar cell market as well, it provided sample with efficiency between 12% to 15%.
Fig.4 LOF SOLAR provides color solar cells in green, purple, red, gray
Color Solar Cell from Manufactures
Another interesting product is from LOF SOLAR, which has developed the first ever high efficiency color solar cell in the world. The company claimed to have conversion efficiency is 30% higher than the competitor's products. Its C-Cell color solar cells are now available in green, purple, red, gray, and etc. With LOF's patented nano technology, the C-Cell™ conversion efficiency can reach beyond 15% and has been confirmed by the Fraunhofer ISE (Institute for Solar Energy) in Germany. And their life time is comparable to the traditional blue solar cells, easily passing 25 years. In the past, the monochrome color of these cells inhibited its use in aesthetic design. As a response to the traditional monochrome solar cells, LOF's colorized solar cells do not hamper conversion
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 29
In Taiwan, over the past few quarters, just about all the major players in the semiconductor industry have drawn up plans to rush into the solar industry with the type of precision technology and manufacturing techniques that can maximize production and efficiency given that both are based on silicon wafer. Among all, manufacturing giants demonstrate the most overwhelming ambition.
TSMC Expecting Revenue Growth by Entering Energy Industry
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s largest contract chip maker by revenue, makes big progress after a string of moves to enter the industry. Last June, former Chief Executive Officer Rick Tsai, who was appointed in 2005, was transferred to the company’s New Business Development Organization. Serving as president, Mr. Tsai will focus on the growth markets including solar and light-emitting diode (LED). TSMC hopes new businesses could add US$2 billion in revenue/ year by 2018, which would put the company in a completely different valuation class. Two months later, TSMC approved a budget of US$50 million for solar energy-related investments. Around the same time, according to a report in the local newspaper Commercial Times, the pure-play foundry bought a portion of the stake, approximately 11.2%, in Neo Solar Power, a Taiwanbased solar cell maker, through its venture capital affiliate VentureTech Alliance. Although, a source said in the story, the holdings are not high enough to warrant a disclosure to the watchdog Taiwan
Stock Exchange (TSE), it underscores the company’s efforts to diversify into the solar market. Since then, speculations about TSMC’s next acquisition of another solar cell manufacturer become rampant in the market. Those names that were alleged in talks with TSMC included Motech Industries, Taiwan’s largest solar cell manufacturer, E-Ton Solar Tech, the island’s second largest solar cell maker, and etc. In December, 2009, TSMC announced to purchase a 20% stake in Motech at a cost of approximately US$193 million. By becoming the single largest shareholder in Motech, TSMC entered the solar market fast. The company said the investment would allow it now to be better placed to evaluate its future solar strategy. Most analysts thought it a good deal as Motech takes the lead in the industry and has a competitive edge. Also, although the new business would contribute to TSMC at less than 1 percent of its total revenues of NT$364 billion in 2010, it helps the company catch up the green energy trend. It happens that there is a similar case. Last August, while TSMC was visiting several solar cell companies for potential alliance, United
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Microelectronics Corp, a major competitor to TSMC, created a business development center and venture capital fund called UMC New Business Investment Corp to invest in the solar and LED sectors.
UMC Marching in China Solar Market
According to the other local newspaper Economic Daily News, UMC became the first foundry to step in planning to enter the mainland China as it applied to Shandong government to set up a handful of projects with regard to solar and LED. The total investment amount reached as high as US$300 million. In the last two months of 2009, UMC set up several green investments in China, including a photovoltaic system company in Shandong Province through its Hong Kong-based affiliate with US$1 million, and the other two LED investments. UMC Chairman Stan Hung vowed to build the largest solar and LED manufacturing base within five years. In fact, UMC has deployed the green energy industry, solar and LED in particular, without being noticed for a couple of years. In 2005, it established NexPower Technology Corp, a thin film PV manufacturer in Taiwan, to make a study of product development, research and development, and manufacturing for the photovoltaic industry. Starting 2008, NexPower threw itself into volume production and expected to operate its plant at a rate of 12.5MW per year. The company hopes to expand production volume gradually to reach an ultimate production goal of 100MW/year from that point.
and other renewable energy sources for industrial facilities, company buildings and households. Currently, AET participates in relevant solar energy projects in Taiwan and around the world with its system providers. Aside from spin-off decision, AUO’s board of directors approved a preliminary plan to subscribe new shares to be issued by M.Setek, a major polysilicon and monocrystal silicon wafers manufacturer in Japan. The investment cost AUO US$125 million, which was interpreted as an aggressive attempt to diversify into the green energy industry, but AUO said it will eventually purchase more than 50 percent of M. Setek shares in the future. Moreover, AUO is allegedly considering purchasing 50MWp of solar cells from E-Ton in 2010. E-Ton President Allen Guo said both are indeed in talks with each other on future plan. He didn’t reveal more details but said that he expected to ink agreement for cooperation once the deal is done. According to industry sources, E-Ton is a major buyer of M.Setek, whose 15% stake is owned by AUO, so AUO might be paving the way for a possible cooperation. The sources also commented that by securing part of E-Ton’s capacity, AUO will not only complete its supply chain by seize the opportunity to take the lead.
A Trend Worldwide
A similar trend is taking place in other countries in Asia, as well as in the U.S, making the competition more and more intensive. Earlier last year, semiconductor equipment maker Tokyo Electron Ltd. partnered with Sharp Corp. to work on new tools development for solar cell manufacturing. Its principal rival, Applied Materials, broke ground on a new US$60 million factory in Singapore. National Semiconductor introduced its first solar product in last June; Intel Corp. announced to invest US$38 million into a German solar company; IBM Corp. gave itself into the business to team up with a Japanese company to develop new solar technologies; even Hewlett-Packard Co. recently licensed its transparent transistor technology to a Silicon Valley company who promises to make solar panels twice as efficient and half as expensive.
AUO Established AET to Provide System Integration Services
On the other hand, AU Optronics Corp, Taiwan’s biggest liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panel maker who focuses on thin-film solar, planned its solar business as well. Last May, AUO created AUO Energy Taiwan Corp (AET), which will provide its customers with integrated technical supports in energy system. AET President Max Cheng hoped to do more by offering more extensive value-added services in the future such as installation of solar energy systems
OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1 • 31
Photonics as Solution to Global Warming – the 15th IOA Meeting in Taiwan
by Angel Chiou
he 15th Annual Meeting of the International Optoelectronics As s o c i at i on i s g oi n g to be held in Taiwan during June 9 th to 11 th by Photonics Industry & Te c h n o l o g y D e v e l o p m e n t Association (PIDA). Started 1996, members of the Int e r n at i on a l O pt o e l e c t ron i c s Association meet up ever y year in hope to contribute to world community through the advance of photon i c te ch nol o g i e s . T he workshop participants give discussion to details of market, production trends and hot topics, as well as update the participant organization’s activities to see how
ot her count r ies are doing t his business. T h i s y e a r, t h e c o n s o r t i u m is going to focus on two topics: 1. production trends in optoelectronics/ activity reports of each organization; 2. future growth areas in optoelectronics/ technology roadmap activities. Representatives from each participant countries will share their activity reports and discuss activities in the future with other members to exchange and to stimulate inventive ideas. T h e t e c h n o l o g y r o a d m ap w i l l identify the R&D efforts which will develop the photonic technologies most likely to make the greatest contribution to the society, and
also will show the projected path of the technologies to market as seen by experts consulted from across the globe. The roadmap will be disseminated to governments, industr y and academia to align their efforts in implementing the roadmap objectives. This year’s representatives in the IOA Annual Meeting include 11 photonics-related associations all over the world. A brief introduction of each is as follow.
Scottish Optoelectronics Association
SOA is a member of the UK wide
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EXHIBITION WATCH COMPANY PROFILE
and competitiveness of German companies and universities.
All photos are courtesy of KAPID.
SLN has been initiated by Swiss research institutes and industries in 2005 in order to improve networking leading to a quicker and more efficient innovation process. SLN is funded by Swiss government and membership fees and is recognized by the Swiss CTI as an official R&D consortium. SLN is nationally and internationally well networked and is member of EPIC, OIDA, IOA, NCCR QP, OptETH, among others.
Korean Association for Photonics Industry Development
organizations: UK Consortium of Photonics and Optics and the UK Photonics and Plastic Electronics Knowledge Transfer Network. Within these networks, SOA is familiar with all Photonics activities in the UK. SOA has also had abundant experience leading co-ordination projects for Scottish Enterprise and UK government agencies.
dissemination work packages. In particular, EPIC supervised the design and management of effective and interactive website used for the MONA roadmapping project, which includes the edition of newsletters, the organization of workshops, and the dissemination of project-related information.
The Korean Association for Photonics Industry Development (KAPID) is a non-profit organization t hat makes a progress in LED, photovoltaics with Green New Deal, low-carbon green growth strategy by government’s ultimate object which include new regenerated energy, green energy by installation of LED light in public institution, LED light modeling project.
European Photonics Industry Consortium
Photonics Industry & Technology Development Association
EPIC’s main tasks in this project are organization of roadmapping workshops, knowledge management and dissemination. EPIC has considerable experience in delivering effective
T h e O p Te c h - Ne t e . V. i s an industry driven network of optical and photonic companies, research institutes and universities in Germany. The main goals are to fasten the transfer of research results into new products or production technologies and to strengthen the visibility
PI DA work s w it h pr iv ate enterprises and government agencies to increase the competitiveness of Taiwan’s optoelectronics industry. PIDA actively engages in industry
OPTOLINK International Edition 2009 Q3 • 33 2010 Q1
research, conference, exhibition, membership service, international cooperation, and producing publications for the optoelectronics industry. The association has been organizing OPTO Taiwan exposition since 1984. Now PIDA is the organizer of Display Taiwan and Photonics Festival in Taiwan which comprising of exhibitions and conferences of OPTO Taiwan, LED Lighting Taiwan, OPTICS Taiwan, Solar Taiwan.
on building competitive industries through global integration, human capital development, productive and flexible workplace relations practices, infrastructure development and innovation. Ai Group is closely affiliated with more than 50 other employer groups in Australia alone and directly manages a number of those organizations.
association OITDA actively conducts a wide range of activities, such as research and study, promoting and supporting technology development, and furthering standardization. It also makes active efforts to spread and raise awareness of optoelectronic technolog y worldwide, through cooperating with optoelectronics industry associations in Europe, the United States and Asia.
Institute for Microstructural Sciences— National Research Council of Canada
Optoelectronics Industry Development Association
Hong Kong Optoelectronics Association
OIDA is a Washington DC-based promotes optoelectronics. OIDA serves as the voice of industry to government and academia, acts as liaison with other industry associations worldwide, and provides a network for the exchange of ideas and information within the optoelectronics community. This year, OIDA launched a new conference, OPTOmism – Powering the Green Revolution through Photonics. This three-day event consists of an Executive & Investor Forum followed by a twoday, three-track Technical Conference.
IMS-NRC accomplishes this role by working at the leading edge of science and technology that will enable the information revolution to continue and while doing so, provide Canadian industry with a competitive advantage. Having established its reputation by developing technologies that underpin the information and communication sector, IMS-NRC has moved to broaden its sphere of influence by using the same know-how to solve problems in other application areas.
OITDA Ai Group
Australian Industry Group Optoelectronic Industry and Technology Development Association
Ai Group is a leading industry association in Australia focusing
The gathering of representatives from the member countries intends to create international consensus on a research roadmap that focuses on disruptive technology advances in photonics that can contribute to the control of global climate change by reducing GHG emissions. As usual, the workshop is held in conjunction with regional photonics meetings. Since PIDA is the host of this year, the Annual Meeting of IOA will take place concurrently with Photonics Festival in Taiwan which comprises expositions of OPTO, LED Lighting, Solar, and Optics, together making June a splendid photonics month.
The Japan-based non-profit
2009 Q3 34 • OPTOLINK International Edition 2010 Q1
P36_Neo Solar Power: Aggressive Expansion for Uprising PV Market P38_AUO Solar— the Trusted Name in Future PV Industry P40_Gintech Prospers After the Storm P42_Kinmac Solar: Cultivating Sustainable Environment through Photovoltaic Energy P44_Motech Power: Power the World with Solar Energy
Neo Solar Power: Aggressive Expansion for Uprising PV Market
ith optimism towards the soaring PV market, Dr. Qunicy Lin, the chairman of NSP, is leading a team of inter-disciplinary experts to push the production capacity of NSP to another height to get ahead of competitors in a new year. “Technology, Quality and Customer Services are the three core competences of NSP,” said Lin when being asked about the competing strategy of NSP, in an interview with Photonics Industry & Technology Development Association (PIDA) in early 2010. According to Lin, NSP was founded in December 2005 with a vision of providing clean and renewable energy for mankind. In doing this, NSP aims to be a leading solar cell manufacturer specializing in research, development, and manufacturing of high efficiency solar cells.
“Leveraging PV device physics & semiconductor
process technology enable us to enter the market with the shortest learning curve, thereby creating solar cells with high conversion efficiency,” said Lin. In order to compete in a dynamic changing marketplace, NSP further provides technical supports in the full range of process optimization to match customer product characteristics. NSP uses technological advances at field to reduce module power lose and improve production yield. Additionally, NSP's experienced engineering team is available to work with customer design and engineering teams to develop innovative solutions to meet demands in the dynamic market. This ensures that the best materials and processes are used in the development of customer's products. NSP is making much progress in launching new products, such as the “Super Cell” & “Perfect Cell”. For example, Lin noted that Super Cell leads the industry with 16.8 % conversion efficiency of multicrystalline solar cells in mass production. NSP’s R&D team develops the patented process technology with
Fig.1 Fab 1 and Fab 2 of NSP
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years of industry experiences in process improvement, material sourcing, and quality control. This not only enhances the cell efficiency but also consequently reduces power losses after module lamination. With Super Cell, NSP is able to achieve high efficiency for solar panels more than 240W, minimum power loss/ breakage rate, consistent color uniformity, greater solderability; and RoHS compliance. On the mono-crystalline front, NSP demonstrates its capability with Perfect Cell. Lin described the feature of Perfect Cell as unprecedented. Traditionally 156mm mono-crystalline solar wafers are “pseudosquare” with the corners being cut off. The cut-off corners result in a smaller area from which solar cells and panels can capture sunlight. On the other hand, NSP’s certified Perfect Cell shows module-makers the ability to increase power density by more than 3% and has an average conversion efficiency of 17.8%. With NSP’s technology advancement, Perfect Cell offers extremely low light induced degradation with superior output that can easily exceed 250W. Lin pointed out that, “With its superior power generation performance and homogeneous dark appearance, Perfect Cell provides a perfect choice for system integrators to serve in both roof-top installations and BIPV application.”
Fig.2 Super Cell & Perfect Cell
A Bright Future
As for now, NSP’s strateg y pays off, according to its recent financial report, total revenues in 2009 were NT$10.301 billion. Solar cell shipment volume reached a record high at 201.09MW, representing a 97% increase from that in 2008 and rounding an average monthly shipment volume of 25.6MW in 4Q09. Furthermore, monthly revenue in January 2010 was NT$976 million, an increase of approximately 73% from the same period in 2009, maintaining the capacity utilization rate at the peak level. Driven by the strong order flow, the overall performance in 1Q10 is still expected to be maintained at peak level. Lin noted that, with the contribution of new production capacities, NSP is well prepared for a strong global demand in 2010, and expects concurrent increases in revenue and profit.
All About Policy
Aggressive Expansion Plan
Lin expected the solar demand to be further fueled by the global expectation on energ y conservation and greenhouse emission reduction. Therefore, NSP has laid out a capacity expansion to boost 2010 capacity from 240MW to 600MW, which is the largest among Taiwan Peers. Being the most proactive company among peers on expansion, NSP estimates a 400~500MW shipment in 2010, representing a 100~150% increase from the 200MW forecasted shipment in 2009. Upon ramp-up of 2010 capacity expansion, NSP’s total capacity will surpass 600MW. As it continues push up shipment scale, NSP aims to step up as global Tier 1 solar manufacturer, not only demonstrating the operating commitment of its management team but also raising entry barrier of new competitors.
Meanwhile, Lin still calls for government’s help in cultivating the Taiwan PV industry. In the past, Europe has been the major PV market due to feedin tariffs and other incentives from several countries in the EU. The U.S government provides incentives such as tax credit, with feed-in tariff expected to be implemented in California and Florida. Lin pointed out that although Korea Fig.3 Technology Roadmap has a slow start on PV technology; some big names in Korea are Classic Cells High performance cells catching up fast and Mono-Si cell (156x156mm) mounting a threat to Efficiency 19.0 Taiwan manufacturers. 19.0% 18.5 18.5 “ T h e g ov e r n m e nt’s 18.0 policy could have 17.8 18.0% 17.74 great influences on the development of Taiwan 17.0% PV industry,” said Lin, he is looking forward 2009 2010 2011 to a strong policy guided by the Taiwan government. Courtesy: NSP
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Fig.1 Solar Frisbee Roof project at the Taipei European School is a continue practice of AUO’s green commitment
AUO Solar— the Trusted Name in Future PV Industry
by Angel Chiou
s energy crisis becomes an urgent issue, importance of alternative energy is more to be perceived than ever. AUO, the world’s leading TFT-FPD manufacturer, bombed the photovoltaic industry in May 2009 with its announcement to enter PV industry. Positioning itself as a total solution provider, AUO aims to offer integrated technical supports in energy system. “We all know that AUO is quite experienced at OEM in LCD and IT industry, but this is not an experience that we can copy and paste when entering PV industry,” said James C.P. Chen, Senior Associate Vice President of Solar Photovoltaic Business Unit of AUO. For LCD/IT industry, the markets are mature and the downstream applications are clear, so that
AUO knows explicitly what to do when manufacturing products. However, PV market is still in its initial phase of development and in consequence leads to many uncertainties for upper stream PV players. “No one can be sure about the mainstream-to-be in PV industry, including materials, technologies, market trends and so on. There are too many uncertainties, but only one thing cannot be wrong—” said Mr. Chen, “to create a PV brand name.”
A Name to be Trusted
This is indeed what AUO wants to do— to create a brand name in PV systems. From power plants to industrial facilities and commercial buildings, solar systems will finally enter household installation. At
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that time, efficiency, stability, and safety would be the foremost concerns of customers. A brand name company that provides ser vice from quality management to system installation, even follow-up maintenance would meet customers’ needs. “Brand name is definitely a trend, and AUO will be the name to be trusted in future PV industry,” said Mr. Chen. In order to secure high quality and high-efficient solar wafer, AUO partners up with M. Setek— a Japanese-based supplier of polysilicon wafers of over 20% conversion rate— through subscribing the company’s new share. AUO’s investment is expected to increase the capacity of polysilicon from current 3,000 tons to 7,000 tons. The alliance with M. Setek not only strengthens AUO’s strategic position in solar value chain but help develop Japan and overseas market as well. In addition to upstream materials, AUO also devotes its effort to PV modules manufacturing for promising quality. In February 2010, AUO’s module is certified to have passed all requisite testing of TÜV Rheinland in the areas of safety, environment simulation, and product performance, and is now ready to compete in the international PV market. Mr. Chen pointed that a PV module comes with a 20-year-long warranty, but “not every company lasts over 20 years.” And that is why AUO made the decision to do module manufacturing by itself. Now, AUO is building the first solar module production line in Taichung which will be ramped up in Q1 2010. The capacity is expected to increase from 50MW in 2009 to 100 MW by the end of 2010.
partner of PV system planning, design and installation service. The solar power plant was ongrid by the end of last year and generates about 3 MWp to supply electricity for 800 households. In the other case, AUO coordinates with the systems partner together to launch the Solar Frisbee Roof project at the Taipei European School. This project is to build a Frisbee-shaped solar canopy to a playground. This solar roof consists of 32 units of 210W PV modules with a total output of 6.8 kWp, generates 6,205 kWh and reduces approximately 3.95 tons of CO2 emission per year. “AUO has always been dedicated to the sustainability of our environment,” said Mr. C he n , “and t h rou g h t h i s project we continue
Fig.2 The solar park project in Hungen city generates about 3 MWp to supply electricity for 800 households.
Projects on Going for Greener Future
Since June 2009, AUO has shipped its solar modules to the market. Since then, the company has several projects on going, such as the solar park project in Hungen city, Germany. The company provides 12,700 units of PV modules for strategic
putting A U O ’ s commitment to action—green energy, green building, green life.” Indeed, AUO is one of companies that highly value green ideas. In 2008, AUO activated a companywide mission called AUO Green Solutions, AGS in short. This mission aims to practice green innovations, green procurement, green production, green logistics, green service, and green recycling that are all created and realized in an environmentally friendly manner. Take the company’s 46 inch “Eco Plus” TV panel for instance, the product has reduced its impact on the environment through 30% reduction respectively in weight, thickness, and energy consumption. In 2010, AUO targets to achieve an 80% waste recovery rate, a 70% reduction from 2004 levels in water consumption per substrate size and in greenhouse gas emissions per substrate size. Just like Mr. Chen proudly mentioned during the conversation, the establishment of AUO Solar “further takes AUO from actively achieving energy efficiency to aggressively creating energy.”
Gintech Prospers After the Storm
in the vicinity of its current Jhunan plant. Upon the installation of 200 MW capacity projected for the first phase construction by 2011 Q2, Gintech will be one among the global few to exceed 1 gigawatt in size. And if market allows, the new fab can be easily expanded to 2 gigawatts in three to four years. (See table 1). For shipment, Ms. Fu said solar cell shipments is expected to exceed 160 MW in the fourth quarter of 2009, up around 60% from Q3 and bringing the annual total to a record high of above 360 MW, or over 101% growth in comparison to that of 2008. With the shipment being increased to above 50 MW for each respective month in the last quarter of 2009, the company not only makes a beautiful ending for the turbulent 2009, but also unveils a propitious year in 2010. Established in August in 2005 by Kuo, ChingTsai, former Chairman of the state-owned Chinese Petroleum Corporation in Taiwan (CPC), Gintech has been the focus of the market since its founding due to its strong working team from different successful sectors in Taiwan— including semiconductors, petrochemicals and electronics— serving as a solid foundation for the company’s rapid growth to be one of the world’s top 10 solar cell makers within just two to three years, as well as for its whetted competitiveness as one of the best-quality product providers with an average efficiency of above 16% in multi-crystalline cells. “In fact, during our rapid buildup, Taiwan’s expertise in IT industry along with the abundant and well-trained process engineers have greatly helped in shortening our learning curve and achieving better technological performance,” cited Fu.
Fig.1 Gintech now embraces a positive gain after the hard time in the first 6 months of 2009
Courtesy: Gintech Energy Corporation
s far as we can see, the year 2010 could prove to be a very prosperous year for solar cell industry,” said Frances Fu, Executive Administrator of Gintech Energy Corporation, Taiwan’s second largest solar cell provider, in an interview with Photonics Industry & Technology Development Association (PIDA) in late December, 2009.
Rapid Growing Capacity Expected to Reach 810 MW by 2010 Q3
Beginning from two 30 MW production lines at Guanyin in northern Taiwan in 2006, Gintech has been growing very rapidly in past years. “Our capacity almost always doubles every two years,” said Ms. Fu. Standing currently at 600 MW, the company will add two new 50 MW production lines by June this year. Together with a subsequent debottlenecking, Gintech’s capacity will reach 810 MW by 2010 Q3. Furthermore, in December 2009, Gintech board approved the proposal to invest around NT$5 billion for a new fab
Great Help from Asian Market
On the other hand, newly onboard chairman Wenent Pan— in mid June of 2009— charged the new management team with the task to further secure its foothold in Japanese market so as to usher in a
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Table 1 Gintech is gearing up for a leader role
Capacity Kuan Yin Plant: 60 MW Chunan Plant A: 540 MW Kuan Yin Plant: 60 MW Chunan Plant A: 750 MW Kuan Yin Plant: 60 MW Chunan Plant A: 750 MW Chunan Plant B: 200 MW Kuan Yin Plant: 60 MW Chunan Plant A: 750 MW Chunan Plant B: 1.2 gigawatts
new and steady stream of revenue. Beginning from mid 2009, Gintech has supplied solar cells to some Japanese module makers and system providers on a tolling basis. And the business keeps growing steadily, as a result, against the mild growth of traditionally big European customers such as Germany and Spain, Asiabased customers including Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and India accounted for nearly 60% of revenue as of 2009, growing from less than 40% in 2008. The successful cost reduction efforts together with enlarged sales worldwide have joined to bring the company’s back into normal track with positive gains at the yearend. Nevertheless, Gintech will not just rest on its laurels. Chairman Pan, himself a Ph. D in chemical engineering and also a former Chairman of the stateowned CPC, is exerting his past working experiences to ensure Gintech’s favorable standing as one among the top five global solar cell vendors in the near future. Gintech might be the first in PV business to adopt process optimization for best cost effectiveness. With the 16.5% efficiency “Douro” cells already in commercial production, Ms. Fu said with great confidence, “We are one among the highest in average conversion efficiency, yet at the same time, we can achieve that with the lowest processing cost.”
October 2009 September 2010 2011
Courtesy: Gintech Energy Corporation
Open but Prudent to Potential Strategic Partners
Even though the outlook for solar cell industry in 2010 looks much healthier than 2009 because the factors that dimmed the market demand are gradually mitigating, still there are challenges emerging ahead. Among others, the enlarged and deepened effect of industry integration is worthy of note.
On December 10 of 2009, the world’s top contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) inked an agreement with Motech Industries Inc, the island’s largest solar cell maker, to buy a 20 percent stake for NT$6.2 billion (US$192 million), a first move that reveals TSMC’s determination to tap into new green energy businesses. Analyst said although the deal would just make a minimal contribution to TSMC at less than 1 percent of its total revenues of NT$364 billion in 2010, the synergy from the alliance could be exceptional. Somehow Gintech holds a more reserved view towards vertical integration. The company believed vertical integration involves greater risks in PV supply chain as each link is situated in a different business field and involves respective professional expertise to excel. “One has to be very careful in making such a strategic move because being the champion in one link doesn’t ensure it will also win in another,” said Fu. However, Gintech is also keeping an eye closely on all possible deals. “Currently we are focused on cell-making. But we are indeed open to any option that will enhance synergy by working with strategic partners along the PV supply chain,” said Ms. Fu.
Fig.2 Gintech’s capacity almost always doubles every two years
Courtesy: Gintech Energy Corporation
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Kinmac Solar: Cultivating Sustainable Environment through Photovoltaic Energy
inmac Solar Corporation (formerly known as Lucky Power Technology Company Limited) principally engages in the production of standard photovoltaic modules, design and installation of solar panel modules as well as BIPV in Europe and Taiwan. Amid the economic crisis in 2009, Kinmac Solar still showed positive signs of growth and received investment from Kinsus Interconnect Technology and WIN Semiconductors Industry. Additionally, during a recent interview with Photonics Industry & Technology Development Association (PIDA), Chief Executive Officer of Kinmac Solar Mr. Robert Huang stated that Kinmac Solar has teamed up with Solargiga Energy of China to form a joint venture Jinzhou Jinmao Photovoltaic Technology Co., Ltd. with an expected capacity reaching 400MWp in three years. Huang said, “It is our vision to become a world leading photovoltaic module design and
Fig.1 Capacity expansion plan of Kinmac Solar Capacity Expansion Plan China 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 50 50 2009
Courtesy: Kinmac Solar
400 300 200 100 2010 150 2011 200 2012
manufacturing company. Kinmac Solar not only manufactures standard PV (SPV) modules but also provides Building-Integrated crystalline silicon photovoltaic (BIPV) modules with consistent quality and performance to meet demands of clients and architects.Kinmac Solar is the first BIPV manufacturer to obtain the IEC61215 certification in Taiwan. Emerging from the Incubation Center of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Taiwan, Kinmac Solar started construction of its first module production line in 2007 and was awarded TÜV IEC61215 and ISO9001 certifications for its SPV and BIPV products. Kinmac Solar began mass production in 2008 with an annual capacity of 25MW. Huang noted that the goal of the company is “cultivating sustainable environment through photovoltaic energy” through its valuable human assets and innovative technology. Kinmac Solar is fully dedicated to manufacturing cost efficient products that will help the human race reduce its carbon dioxide footprint while producing clean and renewable solar power and bring benefits to the company and its shareholders. By employing continuously improved methodologies and replication practices, Kinmac Solar has increased its module production capacity from 25MW in 2008 to 100MW in 2009. With production plants in Taiwan and China, Huang said, “Kinmac Solar will be able to expand production capacity to meet customers’ demands”. Huang projects the capacity to be 600MW by 2012. Kinmac Solar continues to improve its products with superior design and manufacturing capability; the company brings in the right equipment and
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experienced, talented people to help install modules for domestic and European projects. Huang pointed out that in October of 2008, Kinmac was awarded the World Games 2009 Stadium project in Southern Taiwan with a capacity of 1MW and an unprecedented scale of 8,844 pcs BIPV modules. The stadium is now the world’s largest solar roof top project ever seen. Besides, eyeing the market potential, abundant sunshine in the north eastern region of China, and the Chinese government's intent on pushing the development of renewable energy in full throttle, Kinmac Solar is working with Jinzhou Yangguang Energy Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Solargiga to establish Jinzhou Jinmao Photovoltaic Technology Co., Ltd. in Jinzhou, China, marking Kinmac Solar’s next step in downstream vertical integration. The initial investment is totaled 13 million US dollars and the venture is expected to boost capacity 100MWp every year to 400MWp within three years. Combining the lower manufacturing cost from China with the superior technology from Taiwan improving efficiency and quality, Jinzhou Jinmao Photovoltaic will principally engage in the production, sales of PV modules as well as design and installation of PV systems. The company has inked a deal with the Jinzhou city government for a 10MW power plant and has finished a 300kw demonstration site for showing SPV, BIPV, thin film PV modules and PV street lamps. Huang is optimistic about the future development.
Fig.2 10MW Solar Power Plant in Jinzhou, Liaoning Province, China
Courtesy: Kinmac Solar
ensuring stable, consistent production and a strong logistics system for efficient, on time world-wide distribution and delivery • Innovation: Progressive, cutting edge designs through continuous Research and Development driving market trends while minimizing cost • Performance: Uncompromising Engineering focused on optimizing output and elevating efficiency and performance standards ensuring our products stay competitive and converge with market need The total capacity of Kinmac Solar was 50MW in 2009; as the expansion plan proceeds, the company expects to increase the capacity in Taiwan to 100MW before the end of 2010 and 200MW in China, to meet customer demand and to achieve vertical integration. Taiwan is renowned for its production of PV products and is now ranked top three worldwide in PV manufacturing. Huang noted that as global warming and carbon emissions are becoming major concerns for every country, many developed countries already place a great emphasis on promoting the “green energy industry”; it is particularly important for Taiwan to promote the green energy industry since it needs to import most of its fuel from other countries. Therefore, the development of the PV industry should be taken into account as a “national policy”, not simply as an economic model. Huang urged the Taiwan government to rethink its feedin tariff policy and to come up with more generous incentives to encourage PV investments. Such incentives should accommodate a seven to 10 year ROI schedule (return on investment) instead of the current 20 years, thereby encouraging and stimulating the growth of the PV industry in Taiwan.
Quality first policy
Kinmac Solar is aiming for the leading position in the PV module market by providing high quality, low cost and reliable PV products. “Our policy is to continuously improve our quality system enabling us to immediately identify quality issues and implement corrective actions to improve overall performance,” said Huang. He further noted that Kinmac Solar is dedicated to its core values: • Quality: Unwavering attention to quality production, guaranteeing complete customer satisfaction ensuring recurring business • Reliability: Secured supply chain management
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Fig.1 An off-grid system installed by Motech Power in the Republic of the Marshall Islands
Courtesy: Motech Power
Motech Power: Power the World with Solar Energy
ith production capacity of 272MW in 2008 and ranked as one of the top 10 solar cell manufacturer in the world, Motech Solar has extended its reach to provide with measurement equipment, solar cells, and solar application products. Motech is the first company in Taiwan that steps into solar power system market. Motech Power was founded in 2002 to promote the use of solar power systems in Taiwan and to contribute its efforts to environment and the society. Motech Power utilizes the expertise and knowledge of Motech Solar to create photovoltaic electricity systems that reduces the environmental impact of generating electricity by using renewable energy sources. Since then, Motech has became Taiwan's largest and most reputable installer of solar power systems, including the 150kW system project built in Republic of the Marshall Islands. “Cost, Quality and Performance are our weapons,” said Luke Chang, President of Motech Power, the Power Division of Taiwan’s largest solar cell provider
Motech Solar, in an interview with Photonics Industry & Technology Development Association (PIDA) in 2009. According to Chang, Motech Power was founded in 2002. Thanks to an early start in the system market, Motech Power was able to accumulate its expertise through various installation projects and to stand out among competitors with advantages such as quality, durability and efficiency. In 2006, Motech Power had emerged to be the top solar power system installer in Taiwan with a market share of over 60%. Besides, Motech Power has extended its reach globally with an aim to “Power the World with Solar Energy”. As for now, Motech Power has implemented around 230 system installation projects with a total capacity of 3.4MW. Various installation projects include 200kW Solar City in Hua-lien, 75kW Liudai Hakka Cultural Park, 150kW system in Palau, and 950kW solar power system in Hsien-Da Power Plant, etc. Take the solar power system installed at the Kaohsiung City Hall for example, this 6.6kW solar power system is on-grid with utility power and
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Fig.2 Solar power system installed at the Kaohsiung City Hall
Courtesy: Motech Power
Fig.3 Solar-powered sun shade for Motech parking lot in Southern Science Park
Courtesy: Motech Power
works as a sunshade to block the sunlight and to save energy. When the solar panels are implemented on the outside of the city hall building, they help to reduce the electricity used for air conditioning. Suppose the building is built to last for 40 years, then the solar power system could be in operation to provide energy saving effect for approximately half of the lifetime of the building. In designing the BIPV system, the interior design and the wire routing issues should be taken into consideration. For example, the Motech parking lot in Southern Science Park deploys a 20kW solar power system is integrated with sunshade capability. It uses glass curtain wall design concept to let the solar panels look frameless, in this way the sunshade/solar panel looks aesthetic and progressive. Leading countries are keen to develop renewable energy, especially the solar energy, to fight against the ever-rising oil price and the foreseeable shortage of fossil fuels. The government plays an important role in developing the solar industry. Germany leads other countries in developing solar energy; many successes can be attributed to its long term government policy which effectively promotes the industry and provides feed-in tariff to subsidize the local industry for over 10 years. Korea has followed the pattern by encouraging large corporations such as LG to build solar power plants and promising electricity buy back to guarantee 6% profit rate. As noted by Chang, he said that Taiwan government should consider taking more measures to help the local solar industry. Though affected by global economic downturn,
the solar industry showed a sign of recovery recently. Taiwan government has drafted its policy on feedin tariff and roll out plans such as “Green Energy Industry Sunrise Plan” to create incentives for local manufacturers to develop solar cell related products. The goal is to encourage the use of clean energy and to achieve grid parity by 2012. Meanwhile, Tai-power, the sole utility power provider in Taiwan, plans to initiate its solar system installation projects around the island with a total capacity of 10MW. Therefore, a lot of contracts have been offered to local and foreign system integrators. As the leading solar system provider in Taiwan, Motech Power has won the trust of Tai-power. For example, the 950kW solar power system in Hsien-Da Power Plant verifies the capability of Motech Power to compete against the foreign contractors. Motech has been involved in manufacturing of silicon wafer, solar cell, system and related system components; therefore, Motech can provide vertical integration and helps to implement the whole system. Chang further stresses on cost, quality and performance to be Motech’s advantages.
A company with a mission
When asked about the future prospect of Motech Power, Chang said that it has always been a belief for Motech to “Create a sustainable environment through advanced technology,” he further noted that: “Motech Power is dedicated to use advanced technology and to provide clean energy to help preserve the earth, as a member of the global village, it is our responsibility to let the children of the world breathe clear air.”
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The 4th Solar Taiwan Conference in 2010
Venue: Taipei Int'l Convention Center, TICC
Date Session Topic The Shifting PV Demand: From Europe and USA to Asia European PV Market after Germany’s Subsidy Cut Market Trend June 9, 2010 (Wed) CPV Market and Technology Trends American PV Market After the Economic Turmoil Success Factors in Promoting Japanese Photovoltaic Market Industry Trend Prospect of Photovoltaic Development & Application in China Current Taiwan Photovoltaic Industry & Market Development Photovoltaic System Integrations & Related Effects System Solutions June 10, 2010 (Thu) PV Inverter Technology Trends Green Building and BIPV One RMB per Watt: The Technology Development of PV Silicon Material c-Si Technology N-type silicon solar cells and buried back contact solar cells High-Efficiency Solar Cell Technology Development Thin Film Solar Cells Development Trends Edge-cutting and Competitive Technology Current Status of CIGS Commercialization & Product Breakthrough Market and Technology Trends of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells Competitive HCPV Technology June 11, 2010 (Fri) Overview and Comparison of Global Solar Power Plants Tai-Power On-grid Photovoltaic System Overview and Benefits Thereof Solar Power Application Supply, Establishment and Installation of Photovoltaic Equipment Sharp’s Solar Mobile Phone - Development Forecast of Solar powered Consumer Products
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