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Date: 03-05-14

Thin-Film Silicon solar PV share to fall in short-run

Solar PV market study firm EnergyTrend sees with the closing DuPont's silicon thin-film operations by the end of 2014 with gradual shut down, Silicon thin-film market share is likely to keep falling in the short run.

“Judging from recent price quotes, silicon thin-film price quotes is at US$0.58/watt while silicon module is at US$0.6/watt. Price difference has decreased from the original US$0.1/watt to US$0.02/watt. Therefore, silicon thin-film product no longer holds price competitiveness,” said Arthur Hsu, research manager of EnergyTrend. “Meanwhile, silicon module conversion efficiency is around 17.2% while silicon thin-film remains at 8% to 10%. Efficiency gap between the two will continue to increase as silicon module efficiency goes up.”

One more reason for the closing of silicon thin-film operations given by EnergyTrend is the halting of new technology development by equipment manufacturers. EnergyTrend says "relevant manufacturers were hoping to rely on Tandem technology’s commercialization to improve silicon thin-film product efficiency. However, after acquiring Oerlikon’s thin-film business, Tokyo Electron has ended Tandem technology development, which crushed thin-film manufacturers’ final hope. "

On the latest price trend EnergyTrend announces mostly due to some manufacturers’ declining contract prices, polysilicon price slightly dropped 0.13% to US$20.324/kg. Multi-si wafer continued to fall slightly. This week’s price arrived at US$1.004/piece, which is a 0.4% dip. Impacted by DuPont’s closing of their silicon thin-film production lines, this week’s thin-film price decreased below US$0.6/watt to US$0.597/watt, dropping by 1.32%. The prices for other products remained unchanged this week.

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