Leading European Solar Cell Manufacturers Form Crystalline Cell Technology and Manufacturing Group

Leading European Solar Cell Manufacturers Form Crystalline Cell Technology and Manufacturing Group

At the 4th Photovoltaic Fab Managers Forum, held on March 8 in Berlin, SEMI PV Group Europe announced the formation of a new European group for crystalline solar cells. This founding group of eight crystalline solar cell manufacturers (Q-Cells, Deutsche Cell, Bosch Solar Energy, Schott Solar, Sovello, Sunways, SolarWatt/Systaic Cells and Solland) is working together in a pre-competitive environment to address the technology challenges facing the photovoltaic industry.

The CTM Group has established a crystalline solar cell technology roadmap up to the year 2020, which was announced at the PV Fab Managers Forum on March 8, 2010. The roadmap describes the development of crystalline solar cell technology with focus on materials, manufacturing processes, and product development.

The priority of the CTM Group will be the definition of the development processes for raw materials, cell technology and cell manufacturing. The goal is to strengthen European competitiveness in the global marketplace by improving efficiency and quality while also reducing cost. The group also aims to optimize the interfaces within the entire manufacturing supply chain to help achieve this goal.

The manufacturers in the CTM have agreed to define where they collaborate (through SEMI standards and publicly shared knowledge) and where they compete (through innovation, technology, and marketing). A technical roadmap like this one is a strong indicator that these companies are willing to work under the SEMI umbrella, and within the Group framework to achieve efficient industry growth and cost reductions. It’s a good snapshot of the maturation process going on around PV manufacturing in Europe and reinforces that SEMI is providing the right solutions at the right times for local and global issues.

As it did in the semiconductor industry, SEMI will work with members in PV, MEMS, FPD, and LEDs to help grow markets, reduce costs, and take care of the environment.

The SEMI PV Group was established to support SEMI members expanding into photovoltaic manufacturing, at any step in the manufacturing supply chain. PV Group has been active in regions throughout the world, and it fully understands local needs and a global context. PV Group has issued two white papers – one to help governments and non-government organizations (NGOs) understand the opportunities for market development in China and India while the other one supports PV market development through feed-in tariff (FiT) legislation with recommendations for “best practices.”

“The foundation of the CTM Group is an important step forward to strengthen the competitiveness of the solar cell manufacturers, develop advanced technologies, and implement improved manufacturing processes and standards for crystalline solar cells. I am convinced that this collaboration will help to strengthen the global competitiveness of Q-Cells and the other crystalline solar cell manufacturers with regard to high-quality and cost-effective solar cells.”

Gerhard Rauter
Executive Board member
Q-Cells SE

CTM Group Q-Cells representative

“Tackling the challenges of the very dynamic PV market can best be managed by a close collaboration among the CTM Group members and by bundling the activities of the CTM Group within SEMI.”

Dr. Gerrit Sames
COO and Board of Management member
Schott Solar

“The combined efforts of the CTM Group solar cell manufacturers will underscore the leadership in innovation and quality and is the basis for further leapfrogging technological solutions to the benefit of the entire sector and especially the customers.”

Klaus Kubitz
General Manager
Deutsche Cell GmbH

For more information on the CTM Group, please contact Steve Buehler (sbuehler@semi.org) in North America or Stephan Raithel sraithel@semi.org in Europe.

April 6, 2010