November 10, 2006 – STMicroelectronics and Delta Electronics Inc. of Taiwan (with its subsidiary DelSolar Co. Ltd.) have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in development of photovoltaic inverter and power supply applications, and ways to increase solar cell production.
The companies are hoping to tap into a solar power market that is expected to grow its contribution to global electricity by a factor of 10 from 2004-2010, to 0.25% of the world’s electricity (quoting statistics by the Daiwa Institute of Research). Cumulative installed capacity of solar PV systems topped 5000MWp in 2005, and shipments of PV cells and modules are growing at a 335% average annual rate, according to the EPIA.
“We expect that emerging photovoltaic markets such as China, India, and South Korea will become substantial beyond 2010 and will drive commoditization,” noted Carmelo Papa, corporate VP and GM of ST’s Micro, Power, Analog Group, in a statement.
ST is a top worldwide supplier of semiconductors for power conversion applications. Switching power supplier Delta is working on photovoltaic inverter design an production, while DelSolar focuses on solar cell manufacturing, with plans to double its output to 100MW next year. The companies’ combined expertise “spans the full chain from the raw silicon to the inverters and power supplies that deliver electrical energy to the users,” noted RC Liang, senior technology advisor of Delta Group and CEO of DelSolar.