ITRI made a speech regarding Taiwan’s solar energy industry development on March 3, 2011, at PV Expo. ITRI estimated that silicon wafer capacity may reach 6.3 GW; solar cell capacity may reach 11GW; module capacity may reach 2.56GW; and thin film capacity may reach 0.6GW in Taiwan at the end of 2011. ITRI also stated that 1Q11 capacity of solar cell in Taiwan is expected to increase to well over 6GW. As far as the market development is concerned, market stability will play a decisive role.
ITRI pointed out that lack of raw material and equipment supply, dependence on technology transfer and focus only on manufacturing area will become disadvantages for the future development of Taiwan’s solar energy industry. If those disadvantages remain unchanged, companies will incur increased manufacturing cost and lower gross profit and competitiveness.
According to ITRI, cost reduction is what contributes to the success of the solar industry. Yet, supply chain in Taiwan is overly focused on midstream cell and module. These two sectors (cell and module) have low added value to the entire supply chain than upstream raw material and equipment and downstream solar system. Total situation might be unfavorable in the long term. ITRI stated that Taiwan’s solar industry should diversify more in terms of R&D efforts such as development of upstream equipment and raw material to establish a more sustainable business environment.