Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Big Solar Cells

Abu Dhabi is buying solar cell manufacturing plants from the US in order to make solar cells 2.2 meters by 2.6 meters (7 ft 2 1/2in by 8ft 6 3/8 in).

As part of its drive to become a world leader in alternative energy, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates-based Masdar PV announced this week it will invest more than $2 billion in thin-film photovoltaic solar technology in a three-phased strategy to produce thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules.

Masdar’s phase one includes a $600 million investment for manufacturing facilities in Erfurt, Germany and Abu Dhabi. The Erfurt facility is expected to be operational by Q3 2009, and the one in Abu Dhabi will begin initial production by Q2 2010, for combined annual production capacity of 210 megawatts.

Concurrently, as part of the Masdar Initiative, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co has placed an order with Applied Materials Inc for three of its SunFab thin film lines for manufacturing solar modules, which are expected to annually produce modules with a targeted capacity of up to 210 megawatts (MW) – sufficient energy to power approximately 70,000 homes.

While Applied declined to confirm the size of the deal with Masdar, it appears that the deal could be for $600 million, given Masdar’s earlier announcement.
The equipment is of course huge. As you can see by the picture in the article. And what about AppliedMaterials a leader in nanomanufacturing and nanomaterials? They are a Silicon Valley Company. That should help our balance of payments. Not to mention that Abu Dhabi is doing something useful with its oil money. I think the Emirates were always smarter than the Saudis. This is further proof.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Joshua said...

And all this time I thought the main point of America pursuing alternative sources of energy was to become energy-independent. Don't developments like this defeat that purpose? Granted, the UAE is an order of magnitude or two less troublesome for the U.S. than Saudi Arabia, but in today's world that's always subject to change with very little notice.

M. Simon said...

It really doesn't matter who buys plants to make that stuff. As long as we can make the plants we can ramp up production as required.

Also remember that the winter/summer sunlight differential is less there so with the right backup (high temp fuel cells) they might be able to run their city on solar 24/7.

In any case the less oil they use for electrification the more that will be available for market, lowering prices.