ErSol breaks ground on new ErSol Thin Film module production plant in Erfurt, Germany
1) Growth independent of supply constrained raw polysilicon
2) Potential to achieve efficiency of >10%
3) Production cost could fall significantly below €2 per MWp by 2010
4) Positioned thin film for large photovoltaic power plant and BIPV (building integrated photovoltaic) applications
The thin film modules will consist of a few micrometers of amorphous silicon deposited on a 3mm glass substrate using a batch process with an initial efficiency of 6%. The raw polysilicon material requirements will be reduced by a factor greater than 100 versus mono and polycrystalline solar cells.
GP View: Photovoltaics is basically a commodity business, despite the current raw polysilicon shortages constraining production and propping up solar cell and module prices amid strong worldwide demand. Lowest cost per watt will beat highest efficiency per unit area for many customers, even in space constrained, residential roof top applications. This will especially be true where rebates or net metering rates or both are not subsidized by government incentive programs. Customers will be content with whatever capacity fits on their roof and reduces their dependence on the centralized electric utility. ETF’s amorphous thin film modules have the potential to exploit this trend for the ErSol Group.