|Interview to Mr. Ellick K. J. Liao, President & COO of Gintech Energy
Corp., an OEM supplier of ALEX Eco-Solar, and be a leading manufacturer
of exclusive Solar Cell in Taiwan, prior to PV EXPO 2009 (Feb. 25-27, Tokyo)
|Impact of Financial Crisis to Solar Energy industry, COO of Gintech, Taiwan,
2009/02/19 at 19:46
Mr. Ellick K. J. Liao, President & COO
of Gintech Energy Corp. (photo by Nikkei Micro Device Corp.)
Solar Energy industry kept rapid growing so far. By a serious impact of
Financial Crisis, however, negative growth is expected in 2009. The reporter
has asked Mr. Ellick K.J. Liao, President & COO of Gintech Energy Corp.,
a leading manufacturer of exclusive Solar Cell in Taiwan, to talk about
an impact by Financial Crisis and strategy toward future.
Q) The Solar Energy industry seems hit the wall recently by an impact of
Financial Crisis in spite of having run in high gear so far ?
A) Global production volume of Solar Cell in 2008 was expected to reach
6G to 6.5GW level before the Financial Crisis while it has toned-down to
around 5GW afterward. Especially, in European market serious drop occurred
so that we have suffered severe affect as we have 100% been dependent on
exports. To cope with such situation, the plan to expand production capacity
of Solar Cell up to 1.5GW in 2010 was rushed into change. The time of completion
of third factory of ours, being scheduled in October, 2008, has been blown
off to delay the timing of our target to reach 1.5GW production for one
Q) How do you manage Solar Cell business hereafter ?.
A) We will concentrate our effort to extend much severe inventory control,
to raise quality level and to cooperate more closely with affiliated companies.
As to inventory control, we have reduced the time required after production
to ship out period down to 10 days from previously be 30 days. To raise
performance level, we will increase Conversion Efficiency by 1 point higher
than that of rival maker up to 16.6% (see the attached Article). Even by
raising the Conversion Efficiency, we will keep the same price. Closer
cooperation will be materialized by having invested to Eversol Corp., an
exclusive Wafer manufacturer in Taiwan. While we have so far purchased
from 7 overseas Wafer manufacturers, we will , thus, bring local purchase
into a view.
Q) When do you think it will recover self-reliant growth in Solar Cell
market by overcoming the Financial Crisis ?
A) To expand the market, it is essential to reduce production cost. At
this moment, Solar Cell system costs US$7.00/W, and power generation costs
US$0.46/kW per hour. To enable us become self-reliant, without any Governmental
support, it is essential to put equivalent Grid Parity of Solar Cell to
existing electricity into practice, which is to say, Solar Cell system
shall become UD$3.8/W, power generation cost to be US$0.24kW per hour.
Judging from a forecast by Demand/Supply situation, it will become practical
in 2015 or so.
Q) Road map to materialize such high Grid Parity is already built ?
A) There is nothing else but to reduce production cost. At this moment,
production cost of Polycrystal Si costs US$25-30/Kg, that of Wafer is approx.
US$1.45/pce, that of Cell is approx. US$1.5, also that of Module is known
as approx. US$2.1. Besides reducing those production costs, it will be
required to raise conversion efficiency, and further, to cut down installation
cost. Target of the reduced conversion efficiency shall be 18% in case
of Polycrystal Si type Solar Cell.
Gintech, Taiwan, start shipping Solar Cell of Polycrystal Si of 16.6% Conversion
Polycrystal Si type Solar Cell with average Conversion Efficiency of higher
than 16.4% (Gintech Data)
Polycrystal Si type Solar Cell with average Conversion Efficiency higher
than 17.1% (Gintech Data)
Color Cell under development (Gintech Data)
Gintech Energy Corp., an exclusive Solar Cell manufacturer in Taiwan, will
start to ship gDouroh, Polycrystal Si type Solar Cell in March, 2009.
Said company will attain such globally highest conversion efficiency by
using Polycrystal Si type Solar Cell being processed by existing configuration,
material and process.
Incidentally, average conversion efficiency at this moment is 16.4% or
higher. gBefore the shipment of those products, the average shall be improved
to 16.6% or higher in averageh (told Mr. Harry H. H. Kuo, Product Manager/Technical
Manager of the said company). Toward future, the average conversion efficiency
shall be targeted to 17.5%.
At about the same price as existing products
For those Cells to start shipment in March, none of special manufacturing
process is innovated. By using the similar production process as the existing
products, higher yield percentage can be expected. As a result, those Cells
having approx. 1 point higher conversion efficiency can be produced at
almost similar cost as it is now. Within one year from starting shipment
of such products, all Cells being produced shall be shifted to such new
type. Current yield rate of 97% shall also be raised to 97.7%.
Outer dimensions of the new Cell is 156 x 156mm, thickness of the base
The new conversion efficiency is measured by Fraunhofer ISE (Instituts
f & uuml;r Solare Energiesysteme). Incidentally, at Gintech, conversion
efficiency is categorized into 42 ranges within a tolerance of 15-17% to
when ship out.
Polycrystal Si type Cell and Color Cell are also available as well
Besides the Polycrystal Si type, conversion efficiency of the Single Crystal
type Solar Cell has also been raised by improvement up to 17.1% or higher.
In addition to this, Color Cell of looking like Green, Purple, Gray or
Silver is also available by adjusting the surface layer. Conversion efficiency
is still same as those normal cells to attain as high as 16% at the best.
Application to BIPV (all-in-one as Building material) is envisioned.