DuPont announced the termination of their silicon thin-film operations by the end of 2014 with gradual shut down the silicon thin-film production lines at their subsidiary company. Silicon thin-film market share is likely to keep falling in the short run, according to the analysis of EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce.
“Judging from recent price quotes, silicon thin-film price quotes is at US$0.58/watt while silicon module is at US$0.6/watt. Price difference has decreased from the original US$0.1/watt to US$0.02/watt. Therefore, silicon thin-film product no longer holds price competitiveness,” said Arthur Hsu, research manager of EnergyTrend. “Meanwhile, silicon module conversion efficiency is around 17.2% while silicon thin-film remains at 8% to 10%. Efficiency gap between the two will continue to increase as silicon module efficiency goes up.”
Another reason leading to the closing of silicon thin-film operations is the halting of new technology development by equipment manufacturers. In fact, relevant manufacturers were hoping to rely on Tandem technology’s commercialization to improve silicon thin-film product efficiency. However, after acquiring Oerlikon’s thin-film business, Tokyo Electron has ended Tandem technology development, which crushed thin-film manufacturers’ final hope.
This Week’s Market Price Quotes
Mostly due to some manufacturers’ declining contract prices, polysilicon price slightly dropped 0.13% to US$20.324/kg. Multi-si wafer continued to fall slightly. This week’s price arrived at US$1.004/piece, which is a 0.4% dip. Impacted by DuPont’s closing of their silicon thin-film production lines, this week’s thin-film price decreased below US$0.6/watt to US$0.597/watt, dropping by 1.32%. The prices for other products remained unchanged this week.