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Solar Cell Production Equipment Market to Pick Up in Early 2010, Says Applied Mat CEO

June 28th, 2009 by kalyan89 in Press Releases, Reports, PV-General, R&D reports

Motonobu Kawai, Nikkei Microdevices, Jun 3, 2009
Source: TechOn

Michael R. Splinter, president and CEO of Applied Materials Inc (AMAT), discussed the prospects of the solar cell production equipment market at a press conference.  According to him, the market will start to pick up in early 2010 thanks to economic stimulus programs introduced in the US and China and other factors though it is experiencing a sharp downturn in 2009. But he also said that it is difficult to predict when the market will recover to the 2008 level.  Regarding the development of production equipment for new types of solar cells including CIGS solar cells, Splinter commented as follows.

“All of the new types are modified versions of crystalline Si or thin-film Si solar cells, for which production equipment is available from AMAT,” he said. “So, we will consider entering the market if there is a production method with a high yield and cost benefits. But, at present, no method has greater cost benefits at the industrial level than the method used for Si solar cells.”

Splinter, who once made a proposal to US President Barack Obama, also predicted that the “feed-in tariff (FIT),” which is a system to purchase electricity and recently being introduced in Europe, is less likely to be adopted in the US. This is because while the FIT promotes the installation of solar cells at homes and offices, solar cells are planned to be adopted mainly by power companies in the US, he said.