Taiwan seeks slice of global PV pie

September 25, 2006 – In an effort to address two related problems — declining energy supplies, and increasing CO2 emissions — the Taiwan government has proposed a plan to infuse its photovoltaic industry with more than $6 billion over the next ten years, according to the Taiwan Economic News.

The project of the Bureau of Energy, under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), targets expanding the industry’s annual output value to roughly $6.66 billion by 2015 — about 30x the projected 2006 production value of $219 million, according to the report. The nation aims to boost total output of photovoltaic power to 21MW by 2010, up from 1.2MW in 2004.

The plan has four major strategies, according to the report: assist supplies of local polysilicon to PV firms; recruit foreign polysilicon suppliers to set up factories in Taiwan (and provide subsidies for firms developing high-efficiency, low-cost polysilicon solar cells); assist development of next-generation solar cells; and collaborate with industry to develop test and inspection techniques for photovoltaic modules, photovoltaic area networks, and photovoltaic production equipment.

In addition, the Bureau of Energy is encouraging city governments to build solar-energy-related structures and demonstration buildings at transportation hubs, provide subsidies for households installing solar roofs, and establish emergency solar-power-generating facilities in more remote locations including mountain villages and on offshore islands, according to the report. The government is also working to enact a Statute for the Development of Renewable Energy with the aim of boosting the development of solar and other renewable forms of energy.

Taiwan aims to leverage its IC industry to use production technology similar to what is needed to make solar cells. Motech, Taiwan’s top solar-cell producer, was ninth in global market share in 2005 with 4.3% share, up from 2.9% and 10th place in 2004, noted the report.


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