[19 October, 2010] Technology that will cut solar cell production cost by more than 30 percent will be ready for commercial use in two years.
Hanwha Chemical has taken a strategic stake in 1366 Technology, a company that has developed a revolutionary technology that promises to reduce solar cell production cost by more than 30 percent.
Hanwha Chemical acquired 10 million shares of the Boston-based 1366 Technology for $5 million.
Hanwha made this investment because 1366 Technology’s proprietary direct wafer process, which enables the production of wafers from melting polysilicon, without having to go through the ingot process.
The technology, which is expected to be commercialized within two years and is expected to cut the amount of polysilicon lost during the Ingot process by half, reducing production costs.
This technique stands to significantly reduce the time needed to reach grid parity, when the cost associated with producing solar energy will equal that of producing energy using fossil fuels. Once this happens, growth in the solar industry will be explosive. The Green Growth Council projects that the size of the world’s solar energy industry will reach 100 trillion Korean won market capacity by 2019.
Hanwha Chemical CEO Hong Ki-Joon said that Hanwha’s proactive approach to R&D will position the company to lead Korea’s solar energy industry.
This is not Hanwha Group’s first strategic investment in solar energy. It also acquired the world’s fourth largest solar battery module producer, Solarfun Power Holdings, in August last year. It plans to make an additional 6 trillion Korean Won worth of investments to expand its solar battery and module facilities
to reach the scale of producing 4 Gigawatts.
Hanwha Group, founded in 1952, is one of the Top-Ten business enterprises in South Korea
and a “FORTUNE Global 500” company. Hanwha Group has 56 domestic affiliates and 226 global networks in three major sectors: manufacturing and construction, finance, and services and leisure.
With more than 60 years track record of industrial leadership, Hanwha’s manufacturing and construction businesses encompass a broad range of fields from chemicals & materials, aerospace & mechatronics, total solar energy solutions, and global construction. The finance network, covering insurance, asset management and securities, is the second largest non-bank financial group in South Korea. The services and leisure sector offers premium lifestyle services with retail and resort businesses.
For more information, visit: www.hanwha.com
1366 Technologies eliminates the cost and production challenges that have hampered solar power’s ability to replace fossil fuels. The company combines breakthrough innovations in silicon cell architecture with lean manufacturing processes to make the world’s most cost effective and commercially viable high efficiency solar cells. Developed by a veteran team of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs, including MIT professor and photovoltaic industry expert Dr. Emanuel Sachs, the company’s novel approach breaks the historic efficiency and cost tradeoff of photovoltaics. 1366 Technologies is headquartered
in Lexington, MA.
For more information, visit: www.1366tech.com