Managing director of First Solar GmbH speaks about developments in thin-film

Conference seeks answer to unlimited solar energy

MUNICH, Germany and ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands, May 22 - Managing director Stephan Hansen of First Solar (GmbH) - one of the worlds fastest growing manufacturers of thin-film solar modules - will speak at an international conference in Munich on June 11th about the future opportunities of thin-film solar technology.


The number of solar projects with this technology has been growing rapidly in recent years, especially in countries like Spain, Italy, France and Germany where governments have successfully promoted photovoltaics and conditions for solar energy are attractive.

The main question to be addressed at this conference is how thin-film technology can enable a shortcut to grid-parity. If production costs fall below one dollar per Wattpeak the kWh price will be competitive with the price of electricity from the grid (utilities). "This is like the holy grail in the energy producing industry. If this cost reduction is possible, solar energy will be competitive with regular energy in certain market segments and then the market potential for solar energy will be unlimited," says CGO Johan Trip of conference organizing company SolarPlaza.

Managing director Hansen will elaborate on First Solar's approach to achieving what is currently the lowest manufacturing cost per watt in the industry. First Solar launched production in 2002 and will bring its total production capacity to around 1 gigawatt in 2009.

"There is an enormous growth in the production capacity for thin-film modules. We see new factories popping up everywhere and exports from Germany increasing rapidly. With the recent announcements of manufacturers we believe grid-parity in selected areas with high solar radiation and high electricity prices is achievable within three to five years," Trip says.

The conference 'Thin-Film Future - Shortcut to grid-parity?' will take place just before the start of Intersolar, the world's largest technology trade fair on solar energy, which will take place in Munich from June 12th until June 14th.

SolarPlaza brings together experts, leading manufacturers, buyers and investors. Other speakers at the conference will be experts, CEO's and managers of Nanosolar, Kaneka, Q-cells, Oerlikon Solar, Applied Materials, Nexpower, QS Solar, Moser Baer and Phoenix Solar.

The conference will be held at the Sofitel in the center of Munich. For registration or further information, go to www.solarplaza.com.

Featured Product

Kipp & Zonen - DustIQ the novel soiling monitoring solution for solar panels

Kipp & Zonen - DustIQ the novel soiling monitoring solution for solar panels

Soiling of the panel glass is one of the major problems in the rapidly expanding solar energy market, with the attendant loss of efficiency and reduction in performance ratios. Now, there's a new, simple and very cost-effective alternative. Based on Kipp & Zonen's unique Optical Soiling Measurement (OSM) technology, DustIQ can be easily added to new or existing solar arrays and integrated into plant management systems. The unit is mounted to the frame of a PV panel and does not need sunlight to operate. It continuously measures the transmission loss through glass caused by soiling, so that the reduction in light reaching the solar cells can be calculated.