The Thin-Film Future - Shortcut to Grid-Parity?

On June 11 this year, the international solar energy conference took place in Munich entitled "The Thin-film Future" and organized by the Rotterdam-based firm SolarPlaza.

On June 11 this year, the international solar energy conference took place in Munich entitled "The Thin-film Future" and organized by the Rotterdam-based firm SolarPlaza. Almost two hundred attendees coming from 27 countries were given an expert breakdown of the latest developments in the field of thin-film technology.

Representatives from more than ten of the most important companies presented their views on how and when PV can compete with electricity from the grid.

Among the speakers were:

* Travis Bradford, President of the Prometheus Institute, discussing the spectacular growth of the PV industry;
* Dr. George Hanna, Q-Cells, discussing the five investments by Q-cells;
* Charlie Gay, Applied Materials, concerning the goal for a production price of less than $1 a Watt;
* Dr. Chris Constantine, Oerlikon Solar, concerning high-efficiency thin-film modules;
* Manfred Bächler; Phoenix Solar, discussing the pros and cons of thin film;
* Fumihiro Tanikawa, Kaneka Solar, discussing experiences in manufacturing thin-film modules;
* Charlie Han Taiwan, NexPower Technology Corp, discussing the setting up of a production process for thin-film modules in a short space of time;
* Romain Henricart, QS Solar, on developments in China;
* Ravi Khanna, Moser Bear Photo Voltaic, on the manufacture of 600 MWp thin film in India;
* Martin Roscheisen, NanoSolar, on CIGS technology, and
* Stephan Hansen, First Solar, on First Solar's approach.

'Spectacular growth is taking place in the thin-film industry,' says Travis Bradford of the Prometheus Institute. 'The number of companies is also increasing sharply; at present, there are roughly thirty of them involved in productive power of at least 5 MW, and it's anticipated that there will be 70 of them by 2010.' Over fifty per cent of the thin-film companies use...

This excerpt comes from an article written by an independent journalist who described his impressions of the conference. If you would like to read about which material is most popular for thin-film cells, and if you would like to know more about the conference, you can find the article here.

SolarPlaza's next conference will be the Global Demand Conference scheduled for September 2, 2008 in Valencia, Spain. This conference, taking place for the second time, will be concentrating on the subject of how demand for PV is set to develop in the near future. Renowned PV expert Professor Travis Bradford of the American Prometheus Institute will be including the latest figures on this in his presentation. Representatives from the most important PV businesses in Germany, the USA, Japan, Spain, Italy, Greece, and France will be putting forward their outlook for developments in the market.

SolarPlaza will once again be organizing the next thin-film conference on May 26, 2009.

For more information, visit:, or contact Johan Trip, SolarPlaza CGO, +31 (0)10-280 9198,

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