Every day, over 970 trillion kWh of solar energy showers down on us, enough to support the world’s energy needs 50 times over; or from another perspective, by dedicating less than 4% of the world’s dry desert coverage, we can put a stop to all fossil fuel power plants from further poisoning of our planet earth – when will our march of folly turn sensible?
The answer may lie with the concurrent efforts of fitting governments’ impetus with a prime leap of technology – both of which is believed to have reached a point of critical mass, as vividly revealed by these recent market statistics on global solar growth:
- An average of 25% over past 20 years;
- 50% over the past 5 years;
- Forecast through 2012 is at 30% per year.
The following synergistic forces are what formulate the basis for our business model:
- We are within reach of the tipping point where capital cost of solar power falls below grid price parity of $1 per watt, roughly the cost of fossil power. The improvement in conversion efficiency for solar cells has been advancing so fast – down from $100/Watt in the late 1970 to the current level of little over $1/Watt – that it is rapidly becoming a viable alternative to fossil fuels and most likely to emerge as the world’s predominant energy source.
- The silicon crystalline solar cell, the current main player in the solar industry, is hindered by material shortage and heavy production cost; where poly-silicon wafer cost has surged from $9 in 2000 to over $30 in 2009 – almost a third of the solar cell construction cost goes towards the material cost of the silicon wafer substrate.
- The advent of thin film technology in solar, the current forefront technology for high-efficient solar cells, which uses glass, ceramic or metal substrate for supports, and less than 1% of the thin-film material, is leading the way for break-through in conversion efficiency, to challenge not only the wafer based silicon solar cells, but the conventional fossil fuel power generation.
- Among the three prominent thin film technologies, our main focus will target CIGS. For a relatively mature silicon-based solar industry, CIGS has already achieved – in relatively short period of time – more than 90% of the best researched “champion” cell in power conversion efficiency.
- The cross fertilization of our knowledge base in thin film flat panel display technology to thin film solar cells; using our fully automated, in-line sputtering process, ensures us a high yield, high volume and highly cost-effective solar cell production.
- The CIGS based thin film solar cell, nested well within our experience base, uses copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS) as active materials for our solar cells. Our recommended high vacuum coating system, with dense solid CIG target material for uniform thin film thicknesses and 90% material reclaim, is best suited for our in-line sputtering process – putting us at the forefront of the main stream technologies.
- The solar industry has the highest growth in well developed countries, where jurisdictions of government incentive programs are in place, such as in Europe, Japan and America. Our main marketing strategy will focus on tying power grid systems in developing countries to allow solar farm and city buildings to channel excess solar power into the city utility grid.
- World’s conscience on clean air to arrest excessive carbon dioxide emission, where a reduction of 0.6 Kg of CO₂ is realized for every kWh solar substitution for fossil, as echoed in the Kyoto Protocol Treaty.
- There are approximately 1.6 billion people in the world today still without any source of electrical power; modularity aspects of solar cell power enables off-grid electricity to serve underdeveloped areas when conventional electrical power source is unavailable.