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South Korea ready to enter solar energy market

Posted: 28 Jan 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:South Korea  solar energy market  solar cell 

South Korea Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said the country is ready to take a bite into the growing solar energy market with its steady technological gains and improvements in manufacturing.

This is according to report, which cited the ministry as saying that the country has had all the necessary technology to produce quality solar electricity since 2006.

The ministry is confident that although South Korean technology levels stood at 70 per cent of industry leaders like Sharp, Q-Cells and Kyocera in 2007, the country is making gains as more companies pour greater resources into R&D.

According to a ministry official, 61 per cent of solar panels used in homes and 85.4 per cent for larger industrial generation were imports in 2006. In less than a year, local manufacturers replaced foreign competition. In July 2007, the market share of foreign products for home solar generation dropped to 45 per cent while numbers for larger commercial solar production facilities slid to 85.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, exports of solar power-related equipment rose from Rs.177.65 crore ($45 million) in 2006 to Rs.710.61 crore ($180 million) last year.

The ministry believes that with the right amount of state support, South Korea will be able to generate 4GW of electricity through solar power by 2020, and increase to 18GW by 2030. Exports are expected to go up to about Rs.5,842.80 crore ($1.48 billion) by 2020 and over Rs.24,871.39 crore ($6.3 billion) by 2030.

In addition, Millinet Solar's new solar cell factory in Daegu City is an indication that local companies are pushing to produce key components more effectively, the ministry said. Seoul will also provide continued incentives, more loans to finance research as well as remove administrative obstacles that could hinder solar energy generation.

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