Category CLEAN ELECTRICITY FROM PHOTOVOLTAICS

The future of PV

The rapid increase in worldwide shipments of PV, the steep growth in manufacturing capacity and the currently positive political climate offer good prospects for the future of PV, but at the same time carry some risks. PV should not be charged with the sole responsibility of solving the climate problem, and, despite its massive long-term energy potential, it does not (yet) have to power the world alone.

The PV industry needs a stable political climate for continuous and sustainable growth, in both the old and the new senses of the word ‘sustainable’. Rapid changes in subsidy levels and conditions, or in political attitudes, can seriously harm stable growth.

In the past there were essentially only three sectors involved in the PV arena: government, the PV industry and the utilities...

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Outlook

The photovoltaic industry has changed dramatically in the last few years. China has become the major manufacturing country for solar cells and modules, followed by Taiwan, Germany and Japan. Amongst the 20 biggest photovoltaic manufacturers in 2012, only three had production facilities in Europe, namely First Solar (USA, Germany, Malaysia), Hanwha Q Cells (Germany and Malaysia) and REC (Norway and Singapore). However, REC closed down its production in Norway in early 2012 and First Solar closed its factory in Germany later in the year.

It is important to remember that the PV industry consists of more than just the cell and module production, and that the whole PV value chain is relevant. Besides the information in this chapter, the whole upstream industry (e. g...

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Daqo New Energy Company Ltd. (China)

Daqo New Energy (www. dqsolar. com) is a subsidiary of the Daqo Group and was founded by Mega Stand International Ltd. in January 2008. The company built a high-purity polysilicon factory with an annual output of 3300 tons in the first phase of construction in Wanzhou. The first polysilicon production line, with an annual output of 1500 tons, started operation in July 2008. Production capacity in 2009 was 3300 tons and reached more than 4300 metric tons at the end of 2011. In Q4 2012, expansion Phase 2 with 3000 metric tons came online, and according to the company it will reach a total production capacity of 9300 metric tons at the end of 2013. The company invested in the downstream business, ranging from wafers, cells, modules and projects...

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Tokuyama Corporation (Japan)

Tokuyama (www. tokuyama. co. jp) had an annual production capacity of 9200 tons in 2010. In February 2011, the company broke ground for a new 20000 ton facility in Malaysia. The first phase, with 6200 metric ton capacity, started trial production in March 2013, and the second phase, with 13800 metric ton capacity, should be fully operational in 2015. For 2012, production of 7800 tons was estimated.

M. Setek Company Ltd. (Japan)

M. Setek is a subsidiary of Taiwan’s AU Optronics. The company is a manufac­turer of semiconductor equipment and monocrystalline silicon wafers. It has two plants in Japan (Sendai, Kouchi) and two in China (Hebei Lang Fang Songgong Semiconductor Co. Ltd. in Beijing, and Hebei Ningjin Songgong Semiconductor Co. Ltd. in Ningjin)...

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International co-operation

Photovoltaics is an area, like many other technology areas, in which many nationally oriented efforts prevail, and in which national pride and national interests are still important. At the same time, more and more people recognise that international co­operation can be much more effective in many instances, and is sometimes a necessity given the large investments required. Initiatives such as the Framework programmes of the European Commission help in stimulating international co-operation in research and demonstration.

In the development of recommended practices for energy systems, the International Energy Agency agreements between OECD member countries have also played an important role...

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SunEdison Inc. (USA)

SunEdison, formerly MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (http://sunedisonsilicon. com), has its headquarters in St. Peters, Missouri. It started operations in 1959 and it makes semiconductor-grade wafers, granular polysilicon, ultra-high purity silane, trichlorosilane, tetrafluorosilane and sodium aluminium tetrafluoride. In February 2011, the company and Samsung entered into a 50/50 equity joint venture to build a polysilicon plant in Korea with an initial capacity of 10000 metric tons in 2013. At the end of 2011, the company closed its 6000 metric ton Merano, Italy, factory and reduced its capacity in Portland, USA, during 2012. Production capacity at the end of 2012 was ~ 10000 metric tons with estimated production of about 12000 metric tons.

SunEdison is developing solar power projects as w...

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Costs

PV costs are decreasing by 5-10% per year. At the time of writing (early 2000), module prices are in the range 3-4 US$/Wp, and complete systems are installed for prices in the range 5-10 US$/Wp, depending on size and type. With a typical annual output between 750 and 1500 kWh per kWp installed, this translates into a kWh cost range of 0.25-1.00 US$/kWh. The steady increase in manufacturing capacity, and the continuing worldwide RD&D efforts, enable fairly reliable predictions for future costs of 2-3 US$/Wp in 2010. Ultimate ‘floor-level’ system costs are expected to be around 1 US$AVp, with kWh costs between 0.03 and 0.08 US$/kWh.

According to the EU study ‘MUSIC FM’ (Bruton et al...

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Renewable Energy Corporation AS (Norway)

In 2005, Renewable Energy Corporation AS (REC) (www. recgroup. com) took over Komatsu’s US subsidiary, Advanced Silicon Materials LLC (ASiMI), and announced the formation of its silicon division business area, REC Silicon Division, comprising the operations of ASiMI and REC Solar Grade Silicon LLC (SGS). Production capacity at the end of 2012 was around 22400 metric tons and according to the company, a total of 21405 metric tons of polysilicon, of which 18791 metric tons were electronic-grade silicon, was produced in 2012.

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