Taiwan Think Tank Sees Solar Opportunity

January 02, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

If the chip-making industry can integrate solar energy to produce highly efficient solar cells, it will help Taiwan reduce its dependency on imported energy, according to the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER).

Chang Chien-yi, a department director at TIER, said the production process involved in developing low-cost solar cells have many common features as in semiconductor production; in fact, some solar cell manufacturers are studying how to use new chips and related technology to lower production costs.

Therefore, solar energy production can be a new business opportunity for the chip industry, he added. If the chip-making industry can work well with the "green" energy sector, it will not only open up a new horizon for the industry but also create a great benefit for Taiwan, which is 99 percent reliant on imported crude oil, Chang said.

In a recent report forecasting the industrial trends from now until 2015, TIER said memory chip and computer platform industries seem to be on the decline, whereas biotech and Chinese medical equipment are seen as potential areas for growth. Looking at the coming 10 years, Chang said special attention should be paid to the potential room for development of the semiconductor manufacturing industry, including advanced photovoltaic devices and systems.