China PV Technology Symposium
Applied Materials and the Energy Research Institute (ERI - the Chinese government’s premier think tank for energy issues) recently held a solar technology forum for key leaders in China’s energy policymaking and markets. We were honored with the presence of over 100 attendees, including a vice minister from the Ministry of Science and Technology, high level officials from the Energy Research and the Energy Bureau, city officials, representatives from the top five Chinese utilities, senior executives from customers and vendors as well as representatives from the U.S. Embassy and Department of Energy. Throughout the day’s presentations, we heard a thorough analysis of varying crystalline silicon and thin film solar technologies — their costs, potential market applications and ongoing advancements in technology. This information is critical as governments around the world work to cost effectively diversify their energy generation portfolios.
With the availability of land and transmission facilities and the plentiful solar irradiation (particularly in its Western provinces), China has an ideal profile for expansive solar power generation. Several speakers from ERI discussed the Chinese government’s announced plans to expand solar deployment across its provinces with the “Golden Sun” initiative and we heard about several additional initiatives that could further accelerate solar deployment in China. Applied proposed the idea that Western China would be an optimal location for a fab2farm solar deployment model, where we link a SunFab thin film factory with utility off-take agreements to create a green tech ecosystem.
Applied Materials is currently building China’s largest solar test lab in its Xi’an center where we plan to work on advanced crystalline silicon cell structures, long term modular reliability and advancing our thin film technology — all focused on driving technology innovation to lower the costs of solar. After doing business in China for 25 years, Applied Materials looks forward to a future of working collaboratively with Chinese government entities, utilities and solar farm developers to accelerate solar.