Heinz Kundert letter for SEMI Global Update, Dec. 08

From the SEMI Europe President

SEMI Global Update-Europe Edition, December 2008

Will 2009 be a re-run of 2001 in semiconductors? Most industry analysts say “no”— neither in depth nor length— although a chip market contraction in 2009 is unavoidable. The question becomes “How bad will it be?” Most are still bullish on the long-term prospects, expecting a market rebound in 2010–11 that could be much stronger than many anticipate. In the meantime, the challenge is to manage the downturn and to prepare for the upturn, which is not new to our industry.

Is there a silver lining in the economic clouds? Yes, I believe that what is currently happening in the continued development of the photovoltaic market is great news although the solar industry will also be affected by the global economic downturn. The long-term prospects remain excellent, no doubt.

On 19 November, the European Advisory PV Group Committee gathered for in Berlin to discuss how the European photovoltaic supplier community in close cooperation with cell and module makers can efficiently work together to maintain the strong momentum that currently exists. A main topic of discussion was the critical need for industry standards and EHS. PV Standards Committees have now been established in Europe, the U.S. and Asia— and next month a Global Standards Guidance Roadmap will be established.

In 2009, we will concentrate on providing exceptional service to our members in the key areas of Emerging Markets, Standards, and Member Advocacy. Those areas interconnect nicely with the PV Group focus— on lowering costs for PV energy and helping SEMI members in this growth segment. And that is good news!

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

Heinz Kundert