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Government Incentives Continue to Finance Development of Solar Photovoltaic Semiconductor Market

Post Time:Apr 13,2012Classify:Industry NewsView:293


Government incentives that encourage investment in renewable energies will continue to drive technological advances in the global semiconductor market, according to a new report by GBI Research in New York.


Government incentives and feed-in tariffs (FITs) are providing vital, worldwide support for investors in the solar photovoltaic (PV) systems market, increasing the number of installations in many regions and creating development potential for semiconductors in solar PV systems, the report says.


Major markets in Europe, including Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, France and the U.K., have witnessed market growth for PV installations, resulting in an increased demand for semiconductors used in PV systems. FIT programs implemented to attract PV installation investors and develop renewable energy generation have also been successful in several U.S. states, including Hawaii, California, Florida, New Jersey and Washington.


In Asia-Pacific, China’s 973 Scheme supports the development of future solar PV technologies, including thin-film and dye sensitized solar cells, while Japan’s $25.6 million project to improve its PV power generation technology through the application of new materials and solar cell structures has given the semiconductor market the boost it needed during times of financial uncertainty, according to the report.


Companies are already benefiting from the incentives, with sales revenue of semiconductors in solar PV systems hitting $27.75 billion in 2011 and expected to further rise to $32.06 billion by the end of 2015, the report says. JA Solar has announced that it might establish a solar cell production base in the U.S. to capture potential regional markets, while global company Suntech increased its overall production capacity and shipments of solar modules in 2010.


Increased semiconductor revenue has enabled the development of technology that has improved the efficiency of semiconductors and increased the performance of PV systems. The use of silicon carbide (SiC) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) in PV inverters increases their efficiency by reducing the switching and conduction losses of transistors and diodes, according to the report. Single crystal and multicrystalline technologies also are being replaced by ultra-thin silicon and ribbon silicon technologies, and amorphous silicon and CdTe in thin-film cells is being replaced by Copper Indium Gallium (di)Selenide (CIGS).


However, further technological advancements must be made to reduce energy losses and cost–per-watt in order to extend the grid to more remote places, the report states. As this research is often supported by the government, their involvement will continue to play an essential role in making semiconductor development financially viable.

Source: http://www.solarglazingmag.comAuthor: shangyi

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