Here, SCHOTT Solar has already made the right moves. The production sites for crystalline solar cells and modules in Germany, the Czech Republic and the U.S.A. have secure access to the materials they need and nothing is preventing the company from extending its manufacturing capacities even further.
In spring, WACKER SCHOTT Solar GmbH, with its headquarters in Jena, an industrial site in Thuringia, Eastern Germany, that is rich in tradition, became a supplier of wafers, razor-thin discs made of polycrystalline silicon and the product behind every shimmering blue solar cell. The joint venture between schott Solar and WACKER Chemie, the world’s second-largest provider of hyperpure silicon, combines the strengths of two market leading companies. WACKER Chemie, a leading specialist in the area of solar silicon, sees to it that this scarce raw material is available in sufficient quantities, while SCHOTT Solar ranks among the technology leaders in cells and modules.
As Professor Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the Board of Management at SCHOTT AG, puts it: ”By jointly addressing the incredibly dynamic growth market of photovoltaics, where annual growth rates are expected to range between 20 and 30 per cent, during the wafer value creation phase, we are considerably stronger than most of our competitors. The joint venture shall play a decisive role in strengthening SCHOTT Solar’s position as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of solar energy components.” After all, plans call for the annual manufacturing capacity for crystalline solar cells and modules at SCHOTT Solar to increase from currently 130 megawatts to 450 megawatts by 2010.
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