By Mark Osborne, Photovoltaics International
The continued tight supply and high cost of polysilicon, coinciding with the growth in demand for solar energy, has been a key catalyst for the rapid adoption of thin-film technologies in just the last two years. Although the technology has in development for over 15 years, it is only now that thin film has emerged as a viable low cost-per-watt alternative to conventional crystalline silicon cells. Taiwan, a powerhouse in the electronics and microelectronics industries, is also turning its attention to photovoltaics. Playing catch-up is something at which the Taiwanese have proven to be very effective, with a growing emphasis on thin film as a means to become another major centre and net exporter.
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