Tokyo Electron (TEL),
a leading global supplier of innovative semiconductor production equipment,
has announced a strategic cooperation with Oerlikon Solar, the world's leading
supplier of thin film silicon photovoltaic (PV) production equipment. "This
strategic cooperation between TEL and Oerlikon Solar creates a new solar powerhouse
which will unlock the huge potential of the Asian solar market. There could
be no better partnership in the center of the Asian solar market," emphasizes
Dr. Uwe Krüger, CEO of Oerlikon.
Oerlikon Solar thin-film manufacturing technology (Photo: Business Wire)
"By forming a cooperation with Oerlikon Solar, TEL will be able to satisfy
its customers with outstanding equipment and related support, while drawing
upon the technology and supporting capabilities it has acquired in the semiconductor
and FPD production equipment markets," commented Terry Higashi, CEO and Chairman,
Tokyo Electron Limited. Together, TEL and Oerlikon will significantly expand
the adoption of thin film silicon PV technology in parts of Asia, Oceania and
Japan, areas which are already leading in solar adoption and export.
The partnership will be based on Oerlikon Solar's proven, industry-leading
PV technology, and on TEL's extensive sales and customer support network,
semiconductor experience and highly respected market leadership. TEL will become
the exclusive representative for Oerlikon Solar's thin film silicon PV
equipment and end-to-end production solutions in parts of Asia, Oceania and
Japan. They will also provide manpower and services in the area of installation,
ramp-up and customer service.
Oerlikon Solar provides the industry's most complete production equipment,
technology and services for thin film silicon PV modules, offering critical
cost and performance advantages for emerging solar markets. TEL has more than
45 years of experience in semiconductors and flat panel display (FPD) production
equipment. Their established network of sales and support resources and Oerlikon
Solar's proven technology is a winning combination for the thin film PV
market. "Our strategic partnership with TEL is designed to leverage complementary
strengths to create the quality and scale of thin film silicon PV needed to
satisfy the growing demand for clean and economically viable energy sources.
This partnership will benefit our customers enormously in Asian emerging growth
markets with predictable end-to-end manufacturing facilities for thin film solar
panels and local sales and customer support through TEL's global network,"
said Jeannine Sargent, CEO Oerlikon Solar.
Enormous Growth Market
The global market for thin film PV is expected to increase at an average rate
of more than 60% per year through 2012, which is more than twice the rate of
growth expected for traditional crystal silicon technology. Japan, the third
largest global solar market1, plans to cut greenhouse gas levels 60-80 percent
below 2008 levels by 2050.
Sargent: "According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association
(EPIA), PV systems could be generating enough energy to satisfy the electricity
needs of almost 14 percent of the world's population by 2030."
Mass Production Proven
Since its first customers started mass production in 2007, over 700,000 modules
have been produced on Oerlikon Solar equipment. In addition a rapid growing
number of customers are in the process of ramping up production.
Having the clear market lead in thin film silicon PV, Oerlikon Solar brought
its first Micromorph® customers (Inventux in Germany and Auria Solar in
Taiwan) to mass production in 2008. Micromorph® is one more important element
for reducing the production costs of solar energy and to reach grid parity.
This proprietary Oerlikon Solar technology boosts cell efficiency by up to 50
percent while dramatically reducing cost per watt.
"Just one more milestone in Oerlikon Solar's mission to make Solar
Power economically viable."