30 Nov '12, 9pm

No End In Sight? The Struggle of Solar Equipment Makers

Tokyo Electron announced Friday that it has broken up a joint venture with Sharp for developing machines for making amorphous silicon thin films. The two companies formed the alliance back in 2008 and came up with chemical vapor deposition tools. Back then, amorphous silicon thin films still seemed like a promising technology , when startups and larger rivals were announcing ambitious plans to build factories. But there were also hot debates about the technology’s chances of making it big. A former photovoltaic program manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Tom Surek, told the audience of a solar conference in 2009 that the costs and the anticipated price declines for amorphous silicon — as well as copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) thin films — made those technologies uncompetitive. And here we are today. Neither amorphous silicon nor CIGS plays a signifi...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012...

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