New installations of solar photovoltaic panels reached 17GWp in 2010, doubling the amount installed the previous year. Leading solar panel manufacturers around the world and in Asia in particular, are therefore continuing to add significant new production capacities to cope with such growth, while pursuing vertical integration to lower their costs. Photovoltaic installations are expected to contribute approximately 5% of the worldwide electricity generation by 2020, providing greenhouse free energy to nearly 1 billion people.
In this context, Air Liquide reinforced its leading position in the supply of gases and precursors to the solar photovoltaic manufacturers by signing 15 new long-term contracts with photovoltaic industry leaders in China, Taiwan, Japan, and Germany.
In China in particular, Air Liquide strengthened its position with 6 out of 7 c-Si solar cells market leaders, by signing numerous new supply agreements.
In Wuxi, Air Liquide will supply gases under contracts to the new manufacturing facility of the world leading supplier of c-Si solar cells & modules manufacturer.
In Hefei, Air Liquide will supply gases under new long-term contracts to the world leading supplier of c-Si wafers, now investing in a large-scale wafer & cells solar campus; and to a major Si wafer manufacturer now investing in solar cells.
The installed capacity of these new fabs will reach 6,5GWp by the end of 2011.
In Taiwan, Air Liquide signed long-term supply contracts with 3 out of 4 market leaders for their new campus located in Jhunan Science Park and in Tainan, having a new installed capacity of 3,5GWp by the end of 2011.
In Japan, Air Liquide signed a supply agreement for the new fab of a leading c-Si industry solar cells maker.
In Europe finally, the Group has been awarded to supply a major CIGS manufacturer in Germany.
These latest contracts make the Group the supplier of over 150 photovoltaic customers worldwide, with an overall manufacturing capacity well above 20GWp per year.
Francisco Martins, Vice-President World Business Line Electronics of the Air Liquide Group, commented: “Air Liquide continues to demonstrate the value of its offer and credibility with PV leaders. These numerous successes were facilitated by our global PV experience, strong strategic account management and our innovative technology solutions enabling lower costs/Wp. The photovoltaic activity is at the crossroads of Energy and the Environment and requires High Tech solutions, three growth drivers for the Air Liquide Group.”