[SEMI Theater] Update on Trends Impacting Chemicals/Materials for Solar Cells/Modules

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[Update]: New report now available for purchase at http://www.semi.org/en/Store/MarketInformation/Photovoltaics/ctr_029966. Download sample today! …

[Update]: New report now available for purchase at http://www.semi.org/en/Store/MarketInformation/Photovoltaics/ctr_029966. Download sample today!

Mark Thirsk, Managing Partner, Linx Consulting

This presentation reviews broad industry trends, such as changes in FiT and the supply/demand balance for polysilicon that are impacting demand for key materials in solar cells and modules. We will then provide 5 year forecasts for demand of critical materials.

Presented at the SEMI Theater at SEMICON WEST on July 13th, 2010.

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  • 1. An Update on Trends Impacting Chemicals and Materials for Solar Cells and Modules Mark Thirsk Managing Partner, Linx Consulting +1 617 273 8837 mthirsk@linx-consulting.com
  • 2. Subsidy Dependency Time Frame The PV market is Adapting to policy driven externalities • Solar PV is not a mature market. It • How to adapt to policy change? will remain “policy driven” for the next I. Institute short-term change years. Supply chains must manage growth, plan around policy support analysis and adapt the business mechanisms, and above all not lose in real-time to where competitive flexibility. advantage is proved. II. Drive out cost and reduce prices • Solar returns are highly sensitive to while preserving quality. solar subsidies. Any III. Embrace strategies that increase reduction/withdrawal of subsidies could market share in targeted drastically pull down solar returns, markets while solving for lower making solar investment unattractive among end customers and thereby cost distribution and financing. reduce the demand for systems. – Value growth that solves bullets I, II, and III • Public policy risks require understanding and scenario analysis. LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 2
  • 3. PV Module Demand Forecast Source: Linx-AEI Consulting LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 3
  • 4. Future Growth Rates • During next three years (2010 to 2013), PV market could grow at a CAGR of 33%. • The growth is expected to come from all the markets and we expect distributed growth. • The strong growth is expected to come from Source: Linx-AEI Consulting China, Greece, ROW and USA. • The share of Germany is expected to gradually fall to ~30% by 2013 from the current ~50%. • We anticipate negative growth in Italy due to political uncertainty and expected FiT reduction. Source: Linx-AEI Consulting Ranking: Ranking: Ranking: Ranking: 1. Germany 1. Germany 1. Germany 1. Germany 2. Italy 2. USA 2. USA 2. USA 3. USA 3. China 3. China 3. China 4. China 4. Italy 4. ROW 4. ROW LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 4
  • 5. Demand by Cell Type Source: Linx-AEI Consulting LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 5
  • 6. PV Module Demand Forecast Growth Trend – 2010 over 2009 4Q ‘09 1Q ‘10 2Q ‘10 Germany FIT cut driving “pull-in” boosting demand in    1H10, 2H demand potentially supported by sustainable economics with predominant risks including inventory and potential double orders Spain Flat – subsidy constrained    Italy Moderate growth    Political uncertainty France Strong growth, aiming for a 23% share of    renewable energy sources by 2020, and 21% of the final consumption of energy by 2010. Greece Moderate growth as subsidies enacted –    debt crisis Japan Moderate growth    New subsidy rules in preparation USA New subsidy rules in preparation    Strong growth – continued delays in Energy legislation China New subsidies have the potential to    promote explosive growth – Government delays continue (2011 5-year plan?) ROE    ROW    Inventory Global inventory growth    Source: Linx-AEI Consulting LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 6
  • 7. Module Prices Are Stable To Rising Source: Linx-AEI Consulting Source: Linx-AEI Consulting LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 7
  • 8. IRR Analysis – c-Si Geographic View Technological View c-Si a-Si (Triple) µc-Si / a-Si CdTe Source: Linx-AEI Consulting LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 8
  • 9. IRR Analysis – Germany Geographic View Technological View Germany Italy Spain California Japan Source: Linx-AEI Consulting LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 9
  • 10. 2010 Total Capacity Breakup Majority of the capacity additions in 2010 are expected to come from China followed by USA and Germany Source: Linx-AEI Consulting LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 10
  • 11. Polysilicon Supply & Demand Polysilicon Share between Semiconductor & Solar 100% 90% Source: Linx-AEI Consulting 80% 51% 70% 58% 61% 68% 60% 77% 83% 50% 40% 30% 49% 20% 42% 39% 32% 10% 23% 17% 0% 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Sem iconductor Indus try Solar Indus try The share of solar is increasing in the consumption of polysilicon. By 2012 solar sector will be the main customer consuming 83% of polysilicon produced. CAPEX, Product Development costs, Quality and Service will be markedly different for the two segments. LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 11
  • 12. Polysilicon Supply & Demand MWp PV Demand Vs. Supply 50,000 45,000 40,000 35,000 30,000 25,000 Source: Linx-AEI Consulting 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 - 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 PV Demand (MW) Production Potential (Base Case) Production Potential (Upside) Production Potential (Downside) The large PV capacity creates imbalance in the medium term. Even in the downside supply scenario the supply exceeds demand. Further correction is expected in the wafer ASPs. Recent capacity additions still ramping up production and quality. LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 12
  • 13. Cost Reduction • Cell manufacturing cost reduction strategies rely on combinations of the following four tactical approaches: • Scope and scale: Large scale manufacturing offers the optimum route to low cost wafer, cell, and module manufacture for all technologies. Large scale manufacture will likely limit as logistics cost rise as a proportion to end market pricing. • Manufacturing excellence: Automation, excellent quality systems, efficient supply chains and optimized physical and electrical yield. • Cell design and efficiency: Cell designs are evolving rapidly, with both process improvements, changes in architecture, and radical redesigns of the cell and module. Modifications will all be evaluated on the resultant LCOE. • Materials Cost Reduction: Continued material efficiency improvements, coupled with constant price reduction pressure, and novel solutions will all add to reducing BOM costs. LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 13
  • 14. C-Si Cell Technology Roadmap Current Leading Edge Medium Term Future 2012 Wafer Multi c-Si 180 m Multi c-Si 140-160 m Multi c-Si <120 m Mono c-Si 145 m Mono c-Si 120 m Mono c-Si <100 m Predominantly p-type Mainly p-type n- and p-type Wire sawn Diamond Wire sawn Thin film on carrier substrate Cleaved Texturization Multi c-Si Acid based Multi c-Si acids / alkali Acids / alkali Mono c-Si Alkali based Mono c-Si acids / alkali Laser Formulated texturizers Dry etch Junction Engineering Single diffusion Selective Emitter Backside selective emitter Deposited passivation Boron BSF Emitter wrap and metal wrap Anti Reflection PECVD PECVD PECVD PVD PVD Coat Coat Contact Printed Paste Plated Front grid Silicide Back contact Point contact + Al Interdigitated Non-contact paste deposition back grid Source: Linx-AEI Consulting Interconnect on Backsheet LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 14
  • 15. Roadmap Analysis • The CTM (Crystalline Cell Technology and Manufacturers) Group and the SEMI PV Group developed a first draft International Technology Roadmap for PV that was presented in June 2010. • Key conclusions include: – Wp cost reductions are expected to continue to fall at 8 to 14% p.a. – Although many technology solutions are available, near in solutions are in need of optimization – Medium term technology solutions are either too expensive, or not yet available • Together with improved materials and technology solutions significant process improvements are needed. – Mechanical yield must be improved by a factor of 3 – Equipment uptime must be improved to >96% in 2020 – Single line throughput must be increased to 3600wph (front end) and 1800 wph (back end) by 2012, and further doubled by 2020 – A 70% reduction in the number of line operators by 2020 – Increased percentage of back contact designs from 5% in 2010 to 50% in 2020 LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 15
  • 16. CTM Draft Roadmap Parameter 2010 2011 2013 2015 2020 Comments Wafer Thickness / m Currently some wafers are manufactured at 140-150 Multi 180 150 135 120 100 m. Mono 180 140 130 110 100 Wafer TTV / m 25 22 18 18 12 Improved sawing accuracy. Reduced Si kerf loss will reduce cost. Device characteristics Emitter Sheet Resistance 65 80 100 120 120 Improved Si quality. Ω/square Recombination Current (Front) 475 300 200 175 80 Selective emitters help reduce recombination while fA/cm2 reducing contact resistance Recombination Current (Back) 775 700 275 100 50 Al BSF cannot achieve less than 100 fA/cm2 Finger Width / m 110 90 75 55 35 Constant resistance is required. Selective emitters offer lower contact resistance, but at higher CoO Alignment Accuracy / m 30 20 12 10 10 Improved alignment to enable multiple paste printing and alignment to selective emitters Source : CTM Group / Linx AEI Industrial solutions exist Solutions exist, but not in production Interim solutions exist but at high cost Solutions not known LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 16
  • 17. LG Plasma Texturization • LG is experimenting with Reactive Ion Etch (RIE) texturization of PV wafers. • The surface combines nanoscale roughness with macro scale roughness to extend the wavelength absorption of the incident light. • Throughput and CoO concerns are likely to constrain this process to small scale use Traditional wet texturization results in RIE etch leaves roughness on varying scalloped surfaces dimensions that offers increased light absorption across multiple wavelengths LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 17
  • 18. Sixtron Silane Replacement • Sixtron has introduced a liquid precursor that allows the CVD deposition of SiCxNy films without the requirement to use the pyrophoric silane gas (SiH4). Sixtron claim the films have been demonstrated to provide an effective alternative for deposition of anti-reflection and passivation coatings for high- performance mono-crystalline boron doped p-type Cz (Czochralski) silicon solar with the following benefits – Less Light Induced Degradation (LID) with excellent stability – Higher shunt resistance – Lower reverse leakage current • Rear-side p-type silicon surface passivation: PECVD SiO2/SiCxNy rear side stack has a claimed better cell efficiency than PECVD SiO2/SiNx stack for PERC-type cell • The precursor allows for the deposition of SiC, SiCN, SiCO, SiCON etc, for both front-side and rear-side passivation. LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 18
  • 19. Rearside Passivation • A further process improvement to improve rear rearside contact adds a PVD Ni flash to form a Ni silicide layer that limits interdiffusion of Al and Si, and forms low resistance ohmic contacts. – Thermal oxidation / SiNx PECVD deposition – Laser via opening – Thin Ni PVD – 400 °C anneal to form silicide in the contact openings – Short Ni etch to remove remaining Ni – Paste or PVD Al deposition Silicon wafer Dielectric Al Rear reflector and conductor Laser ablated via Ni Silicide LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 19
  • 20. Laser Transfer Print • BASF/aurentum laser based non-contact metal Rotating transparent foil deposition technology is designed to allow direct write of pastes onto thin wafers. Ink supply • The inks, formulated by BASF are lead free, and are available in water based formulations for both Ag and Al inks. • The ink is continually replaced on a rotating transparent foil, and control systems monitor viscosity of the ink. • Direct write allows arbitrary patterns to be laid down from design files laser • The print head is incorporated in Schmid printing equipment and can print wafers at 1500 wph. Substrate on vacuum conveyor LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 20
  • 21. Materials Demand Forecast for PV Cells Source: Linx-AEI Consulting LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 21
  • 22. Solar Cell Moduling Encapsulant Segmentation Backsheet Fluoropolymer PET Adhesive Moisture Barrier LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 22
  • 23. Sunarc Antireflective Technology • Sunarc produces antireflective layers by etching the glass surfaces (front and back, with “mild chemicals”) that result in a 100 nm thick porous layer that has a refractive index of 1.24, reducing reflectance to 1.5% at each surface. • This allows glass (i.e. module glass or TF substrates) to be about 96% transmissive across the full solar spectrum, increasing the irradiance available to the semiconducting absorber. • Sunarc guarantees 85% of transmission improvement for 10years LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 23
  • 24. Polymer Front Sheets • FujiFilm announced the availability of PET based front sheets for c-Si modules, replacing glass in the usual configuration. • The frontsheets are combined with an environmental barrier layer to reduce moisture PET Front Sheet ingress Barrier Layer • The PET offers high transmission and is UV EVA Adhesive stabilized • The PET frontsheet reduces module weight, C-Si Cells and allows some module flexibility EVA Adhesive PET Back Sheet LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 24
  • 25. Module Market – All Cell Types Source: Linx-AEI Consulting LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 25
  • 26. Critical Roles for Supply Chain Participants Crystalline Silicon • Factory yield increases are critical to bring down costs – Efficiency improvements are crucial. Novel materials are needed • Cell efficiency is a key differentiator – Novel material solutions in cells and modules, and process improvements need to be measured in terms of LCOE benefits – Passivation, texturization, cleaning technologies, and low resistance connections are all needed for new architectures Thin Film Cells • Tandem / Hybrid cells – Process improvements are needed to improve efficiency – Moduling and sealing improvements are desirable • CI(G)S – OEM supported manufacturing routes are maturing, aiding viable manufacturing capacity growth – Material improvements are important to accelerating the technology • This is a market with significant opportunities for suppliers willing to enter; however novel technology will need to deliver a favorable benefit : price ratios to succeed broadly over incumbent technologies. LINX-AEI CONSULTING SEE BEYOND THE HORIZON 26