Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sun rises slowly on China's solar energy sector

Reuters Friday January 18 2008
By Sophie Taylor

SHENZHEN, China, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Solar power equipment makers will have to wait another half-decade or so before China, one of the world's fastest-growing but most polluted economies, becomes a major market for them alongside Europe.

But many are already preparing.

A bevy of U.S.-listed Chinese firms such as SunTech Power and foreign players such as Applied Materials Inc are starting to expand capacity in China, ploughing billions of dollars into factories across the country to capitalise on Beijing's intention to generate a tenth of its power from renewables by 2010.

Executives and analysts warn Beijing first needs to get its act together and come up with an over-arching blueprint for subsidies, tax incentives and other schemes -- as European governments have done -- to drive the sector.

Expansion itself is fraught with risk: this early in its development, some analysts say the sector is getting overcrowded and predict a shake-out benefiting big companies with access to the expensive raw material, polysilicon, and weeding out minor players.

"China is facing the same situation as Spain and Germany faced two years ago," said Bryan Li, chief financial officer of solar cell manufacturer Yingli Green Energy

"The Chinese government is deciding whether to give money to the solar sector. And investors will start to pop up only when the government sets up a clear incentive scheme," added Li.
Executives attending an industry conference in the southern city of Shenzhen this week said grandiose official targets on renewable energy must be backed up by clear-cut incentive schemes, which helped foster booming solar markets in western Europe, particularly Spain and Germany.

Once incentives bring down the price of solar products, the market will follow.

"The main problem right now is that prices are very high. If the government manages to make the price go down, the solar energy sector will expand significantly," said Fred Yeh, chief operating officer at Renesola, which makes silicon wafers for solar panels.


Chinese solar firms such as U.S.-listed SunTech Power, JA Solar Holdings and Trina Solar generate almost all their revenues overseas, with only a tiny proportion coming from the local market.

But they predict a boom before too long.

"We feel that in five years, the demand will be enormous," said Steven Chan, chief strategy officer at SunTech.

China wants renewable energy to make up a tenth of its total energy consumption by 2010. This is an ambitious target in a country where coal -- one of the dirtiest but most profitable types of power generation -- is king.

"Government authorities are facing an enormous amount of pressure to address the currently low returns from renewables projects. Even domestic companies complain the returns are too low and hope there will be some improvements with a new tariff system," Merrill Lynch said in a report.

Most companies seem in little doubt of the government's intentions to prop up the market and make it an attractive investment target. The question is when.


There are signs that more and more domestic and foreign investors are keen to pour money into Chinese renewable energy, despite lower returns compared with western markets at present.
Shares in China's biggest maker of windpower generating gear, Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology, soared 264 percent from their initial public offering price last year.

Solar stocks also posted massive gains in 2007 as concerns about climate change and soaring prices of fossil fuels boosted investor interest in renewable energy sources.

SunTech's shares gained more than 140 percent last year, and the firm boasts a market capitalisation of $8.7 billion, pipping Germany's Q-Cells' $8.2 billion. Solar shares have fallen along with global equities at the beginning of this year.

Rapid expansion may result in excess capacity after 2009, prompting an industry consolidation where small and marginal players may be eliminated, according to Lehman Brothers.

But every cloud has a silver lining: firms with more integrated supply chains are likely to survive, hence the likelihood of more supply deals similar to SunTech's $1.5 billion long-term contract with supplier Asia Silicon.

One thing remains clear -- once Beijing makes the decision to clean up its energy sector, change is inevitable.

"The government is now shutting down polluting companies," said Canadian Solar Inc's marketing manager Zhang Hanbing. "And when the government wants to close you down, it will close you down."

China's Yingli plans US plant, beats expansion goal

SHENZHEN, China, Jan 17 (Reuters) - China's Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd plans to spend an initial $20-$30 million on a U.S. manufacturing plant to help it expand overseas sales, a senior executive said on Thursday.

The Miami, Florida plant will mainly manufacture solar modules, Chief Financial Officer Bryan Li said in an interview on the sidelines of a solar technology conference in the southern Chinese town of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

Li said the plant should be completed in the first half of next year. He said the $20-$30 million would cover the manufacturing equipment, land and other facilities.

The U.S. market, where the Chinese often struggle to compete on price, may make up 3-4 percent of revenue in 2008, Li said.

"We will start from a 30 megawatt capacity and ramp to 100 MW, and then wait and see the market development in the U.S. and decide whether to further expand," he said.

Yingli is involved in the entire value chain, from the manufacture of ingots, wafers, cells and modules to the final assembly and installation of complete solar energy systems. Focusing mainly on module production in the United States will help limit costs, Li added.

Based in Baoding, China, Yingli made its U.S. stock market debut last June and is now using the cash raised to increase capacity. It expects to reach overall capacity of 600 MW in 2009, a year ahead of its previous 2010 target, Li said.

Yingli reached capacity of 200 MW in mid-2007.

The solar energy industry is growing rapidly in China, where a number of firms, including Suntech Power, have listed on U.S. exchanges, tapping in to skyrocketing interest in renewable energy, but there is a risk now of oversupply.

Yingli's shares almost quadrupled from their listing last year, but this year have slid 31 percent to $26.76 at Wednesday's close.

China's solar energy companies are mainly export-driven, with Germany and Spain typically grabbing the largest part of revenue due to generous government support and incentives in the European countries.

Li expects the proportion of revenue coming from overseas in 2008 to amount to 97-98 percent of the total, slightly higher than 94 percent in January-September last year.

China's LDK Solar sees 08 profit up third

SHENZHEN, China, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Solar wafer maker LDK Solar Co Ltd expects its net profit to exceed $200 million this year, about a third higher than the company's forecast for net profit of more than $150 million in 2007, its chief financial officer said on Thursday.

The company, based in China's central province of Jiangxi, aims to quadruple its wafer production capacity to 1,600 megawatts by 2009 from 400 megawatts now to meet robust demand.

LDK is likely to overtake Norway's Renewable Energy Corporation ASA to become the world's largest wafer maker in terms of shipment in three years' time, Jack Lai, chief financial officer told Reuters on the sidelines of a solar technology conference in the southern city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

"Our target is to become the largest and the most cost-effective solar wafer maker in the world," Lai said.

"We are growing faster than REC, although REC is growing very aggressively. There is a chance that we could exceed it in three years' time."

LDK has forecast wafer shipments of 510 megawatts to 530 megawatts in 2008, and 1,050 megawatts to 1,150 megawatts in 2009.

The company, which manufactures and sells solar wafers to be used to build panels and arrays, has been diversifying its customer base by signing a string of contracts with solar cell companies in Europe and the United States, including German's Q-Cells AG.

Sales from Chinese clients, such as Suntech Power and Solarfun Power Holdings, accounted for 30 percent of the company's total turnover in 2007 from 70 percent a year earlier.

Thanks to such contracts, LDK has essentially sold out all of its shipments in 2008 and 90 percent of shipment next year, Lai added.

"We aim to sell to the top 20 solar cell makers in the world."

The company's gross margin has been declining due to a tight supply environment for polysilicon, a key raw material which accounted for 80 percent of LDK's costs.

Polysilicon prices have shot up recently as solar cell and semiconductor companies scramble to secure supplies of it.

To better secure the raw material, LDK plans to spend $1.2 billion to build two polysilicon plants in Jiangxi, with a total capacity of 16,000 tonnes by 2009, Lai said.

Their combined polysilicon output is expected to be 5,000 to 7,000 tonnes in 2009.

Some analysts are worried that polysilicon prices will have eased by the time the plants start production, but Lai shrugged it off, saying there was no sign that the price will fall significantly in the near future.

The company has forecast gross margins between 26 percent to 31 percent in 2008, rising to 42 percent to 50 percent in 2009.

To match its ambitious expansion plan, LDK will boost its headcount by more than 50 percent to 10,000 by the end of this year from 6,500 now, he added.

LDK Solar Inks 10-Year Deal With Neo Solar Power For Supplying Multi Crystalline Solar Wafers

Thursday, January 17, 2008; Posted: 02:04 PM

(RTTNews) - Thursday, LDK Solar Co., Ltd. , a manufacturer of multi crystalline solar wafers, announced signing a ten-year contract to supply multi crystalline solar wafers to growing Taiwan-based Neo Solar Power Corp. or NSP.

As per the agreement, LDK will receive cash deposit from NSP and pricing will be fixed for the whole contract period. During the currency of the contract, LDK Solar will deliver about 500 MW multi crystalline solar wafers to NSP and its delivery would commence in 2009.

The Xinyu city, China-based company's Chairman and CEO, Xiaofeng Peng, stated, "We are very pleased to expand our partnership with NSP through this additional wafer supply contract, as a key supplier to NSP, LDK Solar is proud to contribute to their manufacturing of high-quality solar cells."

JA Solar Holdings signs supply agreement for M.SETEK

January 17, 2008: 08:43 AM EST

NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2008 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) -- JA Solar Holdings Co. (NASDAQ:JASO) Thursday said it had signed a polysilicon supply agreement with M.SETEK Co.Under the terms of the agreement, M.SETEK will supply 458 metric tons of polysilicon to JA in 2008.Financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

China Sunergy to spend $150 mln to boost shipments

SHENZHEN, China, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Solar cell maker China Sunergy Co Ltd aims to spend $150 million to raise its shipment level to 500 megawatts after a few years, from an expected 160-170 megawatts this year, its chief executive said.

Nanjing-based Sunergy expects its gross margin to improve "significantly" this year as it adds more lines to produce high-efficiency cells, despite lingering supply constraints on key raw material polysilicon, Allen Wang, chief executive of Sunergy told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

Wang was speaking on the sidelines of a solar technology conference in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

Sunergy sustained losses in the third quarter of last year, hurt by a tight supply environment for polysilicon, whose prices have shot up recently as solar cell and semiconductor companies scramble to secure supplies of the key ingredient.

LDK Solar says secures chemicals for silicon plant

NEW YORK, Jan 16 (Reuters) - LDK Solar Co Ltd said on Wednesday it had signed a long-term contract to buy trichlorosilane (TCS), a chemical used to make polysilicon, from Jiangxi Ganzhong Chlorine & Caustic Co Ltd.

Polysilicon is the key material in many photovoltaic cells that turn sunlight into electricity, but shortages of the material have driven prices for the material sharply higher.

Under the contract, Ganzhong will supply a minimum of 400 tons of TCS per month beginning in May 2008 and an expected minimum supply of 1,600 tons per month beginning in August.
Financial details of the contract were not released.

"We are pleased to enter into an agreement with Ganzhong to secure this key manufacturing material for our first polysilicon facility," stated Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO. "Ganzhong's close proximity to our polysilicon plant will enhance efficiencies. Through this contract with Ganzhong, we have secured 100% of our TCS requirements for planned polysilicon production in our first facility."

LDK is currently building a polysilicon production plant adjacent to its current solar wafer manufacturing facilities in Xinyu City, China, and analysts are closely watching the schedule of the plant's development.

LDK has said completion of the reactor building for the polysilicon plant is scheduled for April, and support equipment will be installed there in June.

Solar EnerTech Raises $21.4 Million in Private Placement

MENLO PARK, Calif., Jan. 15 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Solar EnerTech Corp. (the "Company") today announced that on January 11, 2008, the Company sold 24.3 million shares of its common stock and 24.3 million Series C Warrants to purchase shares of common stock for an aggregate purchase price of $21.4 million in a private placement offering to accredited investors. The exercise price of the warrants is $1.00 per share. The warrants are exercisable for a period of 5 years from the date of issuance of the warrants.

The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for working capital and general corporate purposes, including the financing of its recent $21.8 million purchase order with Sky Solar and the installation of a second 25Mw production line.

This transaction is described in more detail in its Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 15, 2008.

About Solar EnerTech Corp.

The Company is a PV solar energy cell manufacturing enterprise based in Shanghai, China, where the Company has established a 42,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Shanghai's Jinqiao Modern Technology Park. Currently the facility is capable of producing 25Mw of solar cells from its existing production line. The Company plans to install a second 25Mw production line to better utilize the capacity of the plant and to meet expected future customer demand.

The Company has also established a Joint R&D Lab at Shanghai University to research and develop higher-efficiency cells and to put the results of that research to use in its manufacturing processes. Led by one of the industry's top scientists, the Company expects its R&D program to help bring the Company to the forefront of advanced solar technology research and production. The Company also has a marketing, purchasing and distribution arm in Northern California's Silicon Valley.

Solarfun Announces Completion of Good Energies' Investment and Related Update of Share Transfer Restrictions

SHANGHAI, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Solarfun Power Holdings Co. , Ltd. ("Solarfun"; NASDAQ: SOLF), an established manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) cells, modules and ingots in China, today announced the completion of Good Energies' investment and a related waiver of share transfer restrictions.

As previously disclosed on December 4, 2007, Good Energies Investments (Jersey) Limited ("Good Energies") entered into an agreement to purchase 66,745,638 ordinary shares and 281,011 ADSs of Solarfun from certain of Solarfun's current shareholders, including, among others, 38,634,750 ordinary shares from Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd, 6,271,875 ordinary shares from WHF Investment Co., Ltd, 12,574,660 ordinary shares from Citigroup Venture Capital International Growth Partnership, L.P., 686,191 ordinary shares from Citigroup Venture Capital International Co-Investment, L.P., 281,011 ADSs from Brilliant Orient International Limited, and 1,051,912 ordinary shares from LC Fund III, L.P.

Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd is owned by Mr. Yonghua Lu, Solarfun's founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. WHF Investment Co., Ltd is owned by Mr. Hanfei Wang, Solarfun's Director and Chief Operating Officer. In connection with the share purchase by Good Energies, all the individuals who were parties to the lock-up agreement dated June 20, 2006 agreed to waive the share transfer restrictions on Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd and WHF Investment Co., Ltd with respect to any share transfer made to Good Energies or its affiliates. Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd's restricted period had also been reduced to one year and WHF Investment Co., Ltd's had been reduced to two years, both measured from the date of the Solarfun's initial public offering in December 2006. In addition, pursuant to a shareholders agreement entered into in connection with the share purchase by Good Energies on December 4, 2007, Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd., may not, subject to certain limited exceptions, transfer any of Solarfun's shares beneficially owned by it during the one year period immediately following the date of such agreement, or transfer more than 50% of the number of Solarfun shares it held on December 27, 2007 during the second one year period following the date of such agreement.

The share transfer was completed at the end of December, 2007. Good Energies and/or its affiliates owned an approximate 34.34% interest, and Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd. owned an approximate 15.95% interest in Solarfun as of December 31, 2007.

"I am pleased to see the completion of Good Energies' investment in our Company," commented Yonghua Lu. "With the solar industry becoming increasingly competitive on global basis, I look forward to leveraging the experience, knowledge and contacts of the Good Energies team as we seek to improve our competitive position and reach new levels of growth."

Jetion sees FY production, revenues, net profit slightly ahead of hopes

LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Jetion Holdings Ltd said it expects full-year production, revenues and net profit to be slightly ahead of its forecasts, adding it sees trading in the calendar year 2008 to be in line with market expectations.

The solar cells and modules maker said it has continued to grow profitably during the second half of the year.

Total production in 2007 was 35.2 MegaWatt, a 151 pct increase in output from the previous year.

Looking ahead, the company in 2008 intends to add a further two production lines, increasing capacity to 100 MW per year, all of which is expected to be used for its own sales.

Jetion said it continues to move production towards modules and is targeting a higher proportion of the production mix to be modules in 2008 and it is expected that 50 pct of cell production will be converted to modules in 2008.

Going further, Jetion said a further machine is expected to be purchased and commissioned in the coming year, expanding capacity to about 17 MW per annum. During 2007, Jetion purchased and commissioned three wafer slicing machines.

Jetion has contracted the sale of its expected production for 2008 and has agreed prices in RMB for sales in the first half.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lu An Group Signed Polysilicon Project Contract with Centrotherm

December 17th 2007 Lu An group signed the polysilicon project contract with their Germany partner Centrotherm. This is the first 99.9999999% polysilicon project in Asia.

The project will adopt Simens process to produce polysilicon, and the total project capacity is 5,000 tons. The first phase project capacity is 2,500 ton polysilicon and 60MW solar cell, and will be completed in 2008.

Yingli to Supply Solar Products to EDF

2008 The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. said Monday it has agreed to supply solar-power systems with 7 megawatts worth of generating capacity to EDF Energies Nouvelles.

Yingli did not disclose financial terms of the agreement. EDF, a French electricity generator, has an option to order an additional 6 megawatts worth of photovoltaics. All of the orders will be delivered in 2008.

"This sales contract will help us diversify our customer base and further build our presence in the European market," Yingli Chief Executive Liansheng Miao said in a statement.

Himin Solar Energy Gains USD 100 million Foreign Investment

Monday, January 14, 2008; Posted: 07:16 AM

DEZHOU, Jan 14, 2008 (SinoCast via COMTEX) -- Shandong Himin Solar Energy Group Co, Ltd. is to speed up its IPO with the help of international investment companies.

The private solar water heater and vacuum tube producer signed a letter of intent with Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), and CDH Investments on January 10, 2008, according to which its two partners will first inject USD 100 million into the company.

They will sign a formal agreement in Beijing before long.

As to the stake the foreign investors are to hold in Himin Solar Energy, its board chairman Huang Ming previously hoped it would reach about more than 20%.

Himin Solar Energy started its preparations for listing several years ago, first targeted the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, then changed to A-share markets, because its products are oriented to domestic customers, it can gain higher price-to-earnings ratio as well as reputation in Mainland China.

Its sales surged 50% year on year and net profits more than doubled in 2006.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Solarfun signs two new long-term contracts

Jan 11 (Reuters) - Photovoltaic cell maker Solarfun Power Holdings Co Ltd said it has signed a 140 MW long-term wafer contract with Wacker Schott Solar GmbH through a subsidiary, Solarfun Power Hong Kong Ltd.

According to the contract, deliveries will begin this year, the China-based company said in a statement.

Solarfun also signed a contract with France's EDF Energies Nouvelles, a green electricity generation company, for 17 MW of monocrystalline modules and an option for the sale of an additional 5 MW.

Solarfun said it reduced expectations of polysilcion supply from Jiangsu Zhongneng PV Technology Development Co Ltd to Solarfun's 52 percent subsidiary, Jiangsu Yangguang Solar Technology Co Ltd.

Based on reduced delivery volume in 2007, it now expects the amount of polysilicon to be delivered in 2008 and 2009 to be significantly less.

Friday, January 11, 2008

ULVAC Provides Thin-Film Equipment To China's Startup PV Firm

Thursday 10 January 2008

China Solar Power Holdings Ltd. (CSP), a subsidiary of Tano China Capital Management Inc., has entered the thin-film solar cell market in China by partnering with ULVAC Inc., a solar cell production equipment manufacturer headquartered in Chigasaki, Japan.

CSP has selected Yantai, in Shandong Province in northwest China, as the site of its first manufacturing facilities. The PV production lines supplied by ULVAC utilize G5-sized glass substrates designed for full-scale solar power generation plants. The plant will initially produce modules based on single-junction amorphous silicon technology, with an annual capacity of about 50 MW.

CSP says it will quickly transition the production lines to produce tandem-junction modules with a higher efficiency rating. The annual capacity for the line with the higher-efficiency modules is expected to increase from 50 MW to approximately 64 MW in 2010.

The lines will incorporate plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition equipment, laser scribers, sputtering equipment and encapsulation equipment. ULVAC will install and commission the production lines at CSP's Yantai plant and train CSP's operations

Hoku amends supply contract with Solarfun

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hoku Scientific has amended its polysilicon supply contract with Solarfun Power Hong Kong Ltd.
A joint statement Thursday announced the amendment allowing Solarfun until Feb. 15 to process the required statutory approval for the issuance of a $44 million standby letter of credit. The standby letter originally was due Thursday.

The letter serves as a security for Solarfun's obligation to pay Hoku (Nasdaq: HOKU) $45 million in product prepayments for the period Sept. 30, 2008, through March 31, 2010.
In exchange for the extension, Solarfun has given Hoku a $1 million prepayment, in addition to the $10 million cash payment made in December.

Hoku signed in November a $306 million contract with Solarfun to deliver polysilicon.
Shares of Kapolei-based Hoku were up 2.2 percent to $11.35 in afternoon trading.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Top Solar Water Heater Manufacturers in China 08-01

China is the biggest solar water heater producer and consumer in the world. And there are several thousands of solar water heater manufacturers in China.

Recently some friends asked me to recommend some top solar water heater manufacturers to them, and let me share the list with all of you here. Please see their website below:

If you want to know more about the Chinese solar water heater manufacturers, please feel free to contact me at

Himin solar water heater works in South Pole

China South Pole Scientific Reconnaissance Team took Himin solar water heater to South Pole, and the solar water heater adopts UTLE technology, and it works well in South Pole.

Himin has begun to commercially produce the solar water heater with UTLE tube.

Solar wafer maker ReneSola plans IPO

ReneSola Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of solar wafers, plans an initial public offering of American Depositary Shares, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday.

ReneSola did not disclose the expected size or price range of the IPO, but indicated the offering price may total up to $200 million. The company noted that the total offering price was estimated solely to calculate its registration fee and may change.

ReneSola also indicated that some shareholders plan to sell ADS in the IPO.

ReneSola makes solar wafers, which are thin sheets of crystalline silicon material primarily used to produce solar cells. The company's customers include JA Solar Co., Motech Industries Inc., Solarfun Power Holding Ltd., Suntech Power Co. Ltd. and Topco Technologies Corp.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Renesola's earnings grew to $25.5 million, from roughly $16 million during the prior-year period. The company's revenue nearly tripled to $152.9 million, from $52.1 million in the first nine months of 2006.

ReneSola plans to use the net proceeds from its portion of the offering to expand the company's solar wafer manufacturing facilities and to purchase additional equipment for its wafer capacity expansion plan in 2008. The company also intends to use some proceeds to invest in polysilicon manufacturing production and to pay for raw materials.

Chief Executive Xianshou Li previously founded Yuhuan Solar Energy Source Co., a manufacturer of solar cell and module products for commercial and residential applications.

The company's shares currently trade on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange, or AIM. ReneSola's stock closed Tuesday at the equivalent of about $17.56 per ADS. ReneSola said its IPO will price within 5 percent to 10 percent of the company's shares on the AIM on the pricing date.

The company said it is taking steps to correct material weaknesses and deficiencies in its internal control over financial reporting, including a lack of adequate financial reporting and accounting resources for the demands of a U.S. IPO.

Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank Securities are underwriting the IPO. Piper Jaffray, CIBC World Markets and Lazard Capital Markets are also serving as underwriters.

ReneSola plans to list its ADS on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "SOL."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Shenzhen Topray Solar will go public

January 7th Shenzhen Topray Solar Co., Ltd's IPO plan was approved by China Securities Regulatory Commission. And Shenzhen Topray Solar Co., Ltd plans to offer 40 million shares.

Shenzhen Topray Solar Co., Ltd is a professional solar cell ,solar module and solar related consumer products manufacturer based in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

China Taking 10% Stake in International Fusion Power Program

By William Patalon IIIExecutive EditorMoney Morning/The Money Map Report

As part of a broad strategy to meet its soaring energy needs, China will take a 10% stake in a multi-billion-dollar international fusion-research project, China Radio International reported.

The project, called ITER, is designed to demonstrate both the scientific and technical feasibility of fusion power for peaceful commercial use. Fusion power is the same energy that's generated by stars in outer space - including our solar system's sun - as well as by the hydrogen bomb.

"The project aims to find a shortcut to solve our energy shortage," Luo Delong, deputy director of the ITER China Office, said at the Oriental Science and Technology Forum held in Shanghai over the weekend. A report on the forum was featured on the English-language service of CRI, China's state-run shortwave radio service.

The partners in the project are the European Union, Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, India, the Russian Federation and the United States. The ITER device will be built in Europe, at Cadarache, in the South of France.

Cadarache is a nuclear-energy research center that was created by France's Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique in 1959, when French President Charles de Gaulle launched France's atomic energy program.

According to Delong, China research scientists will supervise the production of various project components. These scientists will then escort them to Cadarache.

China will inject about $137.5 million [about 1 billion Chinese yuan] into the project, an amount that will equal roughly 10% of the total ITER investment, officials said.

The Internationalization of Fusion Research

The aim of ITER is to show fusion can be used to generate electrical power and do the preparation work to build and operate an electricity-producing plant. That means that a key project objective is to develop the technologies which would make a viable fusion-power reactor possible.

ITER scientists intend to test a number of key technologies, including the heating, control, diagnostic and remote maintenance that will be needed for the operation of a commercial fusion power plant.

Fusion is much more alluring than conventional nuclear fission, the energy process used at most of the world's current nuclear power plants. Fusion is capable of producing dozens of times more energy than fission. And fusion is also cheaper. Fission can only be caused by uranium. However, the resource to trigger fusion can be found in ordinary substances from the sea, experts say.

The ITER device is based on the tokamak-reactor concept, in which a hot gas is confined in a toroidal [doughnut]-shaped vessel that uses a magnetic field to confine a super-hot plasma. The gas is heated to more than 100 million degrees, and will produce 500 Megawatts of fusion power, the ITER organization says.

The tokamak concept is an interesting example of how scientific advances transcend international boundaries.

Soviet physicists first devised the concept in the 1950s. But the actual Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor, or TFTR, was constructed at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in New Jersey starting in 1980. That test reactor never achieved "breakeven" status - a point in which usuable fusion power generated by the process meets or exceeds the amount of energy needed to create the reaction in the first place. But it operated for nearly 15 years - until 1997 - and was said to contribute a great deal to general fusion know-how by leading to major advances in energy density and plasma confinement time.

According to ITER, the design finally achieved a level of detail that allowed for accurate cost estimates in 2001.

A Powerful Price

According to the ITER Web site, the total construction cost of the ITER fusion device is projected at about $7.4 billion over 10 years, with another $7.4 billion earmarked for its 20-year operation period.

The ITER organization owns the ITER device and is responsible for all aspects of the project, such as licensing procedures, hardware procurements and operation.

According to Zhang Jie, a fusion-power scientist of Jiao Tong University, fusion research is under way at several Shanghai universities, including Fudan and Donghua. China intends to boost its focus on fusion research to enhance the country's international position with respect to that discipline.

China's Appetite for Energy

As China's economy continues to grow at a pace three to six times faster than its more-mature U.S. counterpart, that Asian nation is grappling with major power shortages, as well as suffocating pollution concerns.To fuel its growth, China has relied heavily on coal-fired power plants to power its rapid industrial expansion. Between 2003 and 2006, worldwide coal consumption increased as much as it did in the 23 years prior. China accounted for 90% of that increase and used 2.5 billion tons of coal in 2006 - more than the next-three-highest-consuming nations combined. The country is home to more than 2,000 coal-fired power plants, and a new one goes into operation every week.Those plants produce massive quantities of hazardous carbon emissions. Earlier this year, China surpassed the United States as the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases.

The result: China's smog-filled skies have resulted in acid rain, desertification, dust storms and declining health. Healthcare costs alone account for an estimated 4% of China's GDP.

The nation's climate-change program has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 950 million tons over the next two years. Late last year, at the United Nations climate conference in Bali, Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said China's investment in renewable energy would reach $20 billion in the New Year. Fusion is a longer-term solution, but offers promise if it can be fully developed.

Nuclear fusion occurs naturally in the sun and other stars. Researchers have achieved artificial fusion, but it's yet to be completely controlled or made efficient enough to commercialize. It was first conceived in the early 1930s, and research into fusion for military purposes began as part of the Manhattan Project in the 1940s. That didn't succeed until 1952.

Civilian fusion research also began in earnest in the 1950s.

China Sunergy opens European HQ in Germany

Munich - Leading Chinese solar cell maker China Sunergy has moved to cash in on Germany's booming sun-power market by opening its European headquarters in Munich, the Bavarian state economics ministry announced Monday. "There is an enormous know how in the solar and energy technology sector here," said China Sunergy European president Thomas Liu, setting out the reasons behind the decision to open the headquarters in Germany.

He saw a base in the southern German state of Bavaria as enabling the company, which is China's second biggest solar maker, to reach all the European markets.

China Sunergy, which is also one of the world's leading solar manufacturers, chose Germany over Spain for its headquarters with the company planning to create 20 new jobs in Bavaria.

Apart from co-ordinating its sales and marketing operations from its new Bavarian headquarters, Sunergy plans to set up a new European research and development unit in Munich.

JA Solar Announces 3-For-1 ADS Split

HEBEI, China, Jan 7, 2008 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX) -- JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. ("JA Solar," "the Company") (Nasdaq:JASO) announced today that its Board of Directors has approved a change of ratio from 1 American Depositary Shares ("ADSs"): 3 Ordinary Shares, to 1 ADS: 1 Ordinary Share, resulting in a three-for-one split (or 200% distribution) of the Company's ADSs to be effected on February 7, 2008. Each shareholder of record at the close of business on February 6, 2008 will receive two additional ADSs for every ADS held on the record date. Trading on the split-adjusted price resulting from the change of ratio will be effected on February 8, 2008. For JA Solar's ADS holders, this ratio change will have the same effect as a three-for-one ADS split. There will be no change to JA Solar's underlying ordinary shares. No action is required by ADS holders to effect the ratio change.

About JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd.

Based in Hebei, China, JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. is an emerging and fast-growing manufacturer of high-performance solar cells. The Company sells its products to solar module manufacturers who assemble and integrate its solar cells into modules and systems that convert sunlight into electricity. For more information, please visit

LDK Solar Acquires Minority Stake in Sinoma Crucible

XINYU CITY, China and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan 07, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- LDK Solar Co., Ltd. , a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 33.5% of Jiangxi Sinoma New Material Co., Ltd. (Sinoma), a Xinyu-based crucible manufacturer, from Xinyu Chengdong Investment and Construction Co., Ltd. for a consideration of approximately RMB 17 million.

Sinoma, founded in May, 2007, completed construction of its plant to manufacture crucibles in September, 2007. The company started test production in November 2007 and subsequently commenced shipping products to its customers. Its current capacity is 30,000 units per year, with a goal of reaching 80,000 units per year by the end of 2008. Sinoma integrated its own manufacturing process, equipment development and new technology research.

"Sinoma's proximity to LDK's wafer factory will significantly reduce the logistical costs typically associated with the acquisition of crucibles from abroad," stated Jack Lai, CFO of LDK Solar. "Domestic-sourced procurement is part of our ongoing initiatives to reduce our manufacturing costs. We expect to be able to secure sufficient crucibles to satisfy our capacity expansion plan and reduce costs of this critical supplemental material in the long-term."

About LDK Solar

LDK Solar Co., Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, which are the principal raw material used to produce solar cells. LDK sells multicrystalline wafers globally to manufacturers of photovoltaic products, including solar cells and solar modules. In addition, the company provides wafer processing services to monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar cell and module manufacturers. LDK's headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Hi-Tech Industrial Park, Xinyu City, Jiangxi province in the People's Republic of China. The company's office in the United States is located in Sunnyvale, California.

Friday, January 4, 2008

CTDC Holds a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Showcase First SnO2 Production Line

January 03, 2008: 09:00 AM EST

HONG KONG, Jan. 3 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- China Technology Development Group Corporation , a provider of clean and renewable energy products and solutions focusing on solar energy business in China, today announced that it held a ribbon cutting ceremony to showcase the first SnO2 production line at China Merchants Zhangzhou Development Zone on December 28, 2007.

Accompanied by Mr. Alan Li, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, many important government and business leaders including Dr. Yuning Fu, President of China Merchants Group ("CMG"), Mr. Zheng Hu, Vice President of CMG, Mr. Keqing Liu, Secretary General of Zhangzhou Government, Mr. Jianguo Li, Mayor of Zhangzhou City, and Mr. Bin Wu, General Manager of China Merchants Zhangzhou Development Zone, participated in this important opening ceremony. All of participants also had an opportunity to tour CTDC's 129,000 square feet manufacturing facility. The local government officials not only publicly endorsed CTDC's investment in the solar energy sector focusing the China market, they also vowed to provide all necessary government support and other incentives, such as land and grant, to CTDC in the future.

This ceremony marks another key milestone for the company to manufacture and sell the proprietary SnO2 base plates, a key component of a-Si (Amorphous Silicon) Thin Film PV products, which can optimize the performance of Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV). BIPV involves solar panels integrated directly into a building's architecture to provide one source of electricity for the building. Amorphous-silicon material is itself semi-transparent and thus is most suitable for transparent modules.

"We are honored to have so many government and business leaders to attend the opening ceremony of our first showcase production line, and receive full support and endorsement from them on our new expansion into solar energy business in China," commented Mr. Alan Li, Chairman and CEO of CTDC, "Under the vast investment holdings by China Merchants Group, we are the only platform which focuses exclusively on alternative energy and Green technology development. We fully intend to leverage the abundant resource and support from CMG, our principal shareholder, to become a leader in clean and renewable energy sector in China, and ultimately deliver greater shareholder value."

About SnO2 base plate technology:

SnO2 solar base plate is a type of transparent conductive oxide (TCO) substrate of amorphous silicon (a-Si) or thin film solar cells. SnO2 thin films have a number of benefits: they are corrosion resistant; have good thermal stability; are of low cost yet have high rigidity; and have excellent photo-electronic properties. SnO2 base plates have a variety of applications in solar cells, liquid crystal displays, gas-sensitive sensors, antifogging devices and electrostatic protection, especially in Low-E glass.

About CTDC

CTDC is a provider of clean and renewable energy products and solutions focusing on solar energy business in China. CTDC's ultimate principal shareholder is China Merchants Group ( ), one of the biggest state-owned conglomerates in China.
For more information, please visit our website at

Hubei New Huaguang plans to invest 60 million RMB in Yunnan Tianda Photovoltaic

Hubei New Huaguang plans to further invest 60 million RMB in Yunnan Tianda Photovoltaic, at present Hubei New Huaguang is already the biggest share holder of Yunnan Tianda Photovoltaic. The investment is waiting for the approval from Chinese government.

Yunnan Tianda Photovoltaic has great ambition to become one of the top three solar cell manufacturers in China in 2008.

Solarfun Announces New CEO

SHANGHAI, China, Jan 03, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:SOLF), an established manufacturer of photovoltaic cells, modules and ingots in China, today announced the appointment of Henricus Johannes Petrus "Harold" Hoskens as Chief Executive Officer. His tenure will commence on February 25, 2008 for an initial term of three years. Mr. Hoskens joins Solarfun from TPO Displays Corporation, Chunan Taiwan, where he recently served as Deputy CEO. Lu Yonghua, Chairman of Solarfun commented, "We are very fortunate to have attracted Harold to the Solarfun team. The growth and changing dynamics of the solar industry require leadership and expertise in operating and international experience. Harold has a proven track record in manufacturing, supply chain management, technology and customer relations. He is a well-rounded executive who can lead Solarfun to become a leading competitor in the burgeoning solar industry."

Mr. Lu will continue to serve as Chairman and remain actively involved in our business focusing on various areas of strategic importance to Solarfun.

Mr. Hoskens began his career with Royal Philips in 1988 following the receipt of his Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering & Management Science from Eindhoven University of Technology. In his first period at Philips he focused on Supply Chain and Supply Base execution and improvement for different business entities.

In 1997, Mr. Hoskens moved to the Royal Philips' Mobile Display Systems division in Hong Kong, serving as its CEO beginning in September 2003. MDS was a leading global player in the mobile LCD markets with extensive operations throughout Asia, as well as South America and Europe. At MDS, Mr. Hoskens helped to introduce new product concepts with leading customers in the cellular and automotive industries.

Mr. Hoskens led MDS into a merger with Toppoly from Taiwan, creating TPO Displays Corporation. TPO Displays focuses on the leading technologies for mobile displays (LTPS-TFT and AMOLED). In the integration process after the merger, he served in Taiwan as Deputy CEO with a focus on customers, technology and marketing for the newly established company. TPO Displays is currently privately held.

Mr. Hoskens noted that, "Solarfun is poised for continued growth. Its manufacturing scale, strong customer base, especially in Europe, and its efficient and low-cost manufacturing advantages from being located in China are all factors that attracted me to this organization. The solar industry is growing and dynamic. Companies that capture a leadership position over time will have low-cost manufacturing, high quality products, strong technology and strong brand recognition. I believe my experience and track record at Royal Philips and TPO fit well with these demands and I look forward to contributing to Solarfun's continued success."

Solarfun Enters Silicon Supply Seal

Solarfun to Purchase $230 Million in Solar Wafers From Korean Company
January 03, 2008: 07:47 AM EST

NEW YORK (Associated Press) - Solarfun Power Holdings Co. said Thursday it has agreed to purchase $230 million worth of silicon wafers from a Korean conglomerate over a seven-year period.

Solarfun did not disclose the name of its partner.

Under the agreement, the solar-power system maker will receive the wafers starting this month. Volumes will accelerate to products with 30 megawatts worth of annual generating capacity by 2011.

A one-megawatt plant running continuously at full capacity can power 778 households each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Solar technology has lower capacity since its power generation is constrained by availability of the sun.

Prices will be fixed, but decline through the contract's term. Fixed-price contracts are favored by solar-product makers since spot prices for polysilicon are much more expensive. As more capacity comes on line to produce the costly solar and semiconductor component, analysts and the industry expect prices to ease.

As part of the deal, the Korean company also receives options to purchase back a certain percentage of the wafers as full solar systems beginning in 2009.

Solarfun Chairman Lu Yonghua said in a statement that the contract will help the Qidong, China-based company meet its goal to manufacture products with 360 megawatts worth of generating capacity by mid-2008.

It also allows the company to "explore OEM as a possible addition to our business model," Yonghua said. OEM, or original equipment manufacturing, is an agreement in which multiple companies partner to manufacture a product, but sell it under one brand.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Suntech and Akeena in Distribution Deal

2008 The Associated Press

LOS GATOS, Calif. — Akeena Solar Inc. said Wednesday it licensed Suntech Power Holdings Co. to distribute its Andalay solar-panel technology in Europe, Japan and Australia starting this month.

The solar-products companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement.
Akeena shares surged $3.69, or 46.4 percent, to $11.65 in pre-market trading after closing at $7.96 on Monday. Suntech stock rose $1.68, or 2 percent, to $84. It closed at $82.32 on Monday.

Andalay products have lower installation costs because of built-in wiring, grounding and racking, Akeena Chief Executive Barry Cinnamon said in a statement. He described the products as having "outstanding aesthetics," because they are black and streamlined. Some consumers find the appearance of solar rooftop systems unappealing, seeing them as large and clunky.

"We are experiencing very strong demand for Andalay, and this licensing agreement with Suntech will allow us to meet our customer's needs for Andalay outside of our direct channels in the U.S.," Cinnamon said.

The companies already have an agreement with China-based Suntech to manufacture the technology. Suntech aims to sell Andalay products with more than 10 megawatts of annual generating capacity next year.

One megawatt of energy is enough to power about 778 households a year, according to the Department of Energy.

LDK 2008 Guidance: Higher Revenues, Lower Margins

The company expects revenue of between $960 million and $1 billion this year, with margins of between 26 and 31 percent.

by: Jennifer Kho
January 02, 2008

LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) share prices closed up 5 percent Wednesday after the company said it expects to post revenue of between $960 million and $1 billion in 2008, with a gross margin of between 26 and 31 percent.

Though the company hasn't yet posted fourth-quarter earnings, the 2008 outlook is a big jump from the expected earnings of between $511.2 million and $516.2 million for the full year of 2007. But the prediction indicates the company's gross margin -- which shrank to 30.8 percent in the third quarter, down from 35.2 percent in the second quarter and 39.4 percent in the year-ago quarter -- could continue to fall.

According to the financial outlook, the company expects solar-wafer shipments of between 510 and 530 megawatts, with polysilicon production of between 100 and 350 metric tons this year.
LDK Solar also said it expects a gross margin of between 42 and 50 percent in 2009, with wafer shipments of between 1.05 and 1.15 gigawatts and polysilicon production of between 5,000 and 7,000 metric tons.

The stock closed at $49.37 per share Wednesday, which is off 35.7 percent from a 52-week peak of $76.75 per share in September.

The company faced allegations that it had misstated its polysilicon inventory, a major factor in determining profitability during the current worldwide shortage of solar-grade silicon.

In December, LDK announced that an independent audit found "no material errors" in its accounting, and the company posted a third-quarter profit that met analyst expectations and exceeded the company's guidance. Its profit jumped 40 percent from the second quarter and eightfold from the year-ago quarter.

But analysts and shareholders were unimpressed. Citing unanswered questions, Piper Jaffray downgraded the stock to "Sell," and Lazard Capital Markets and CIBC World Markets maintained "Sell" and "Sector Underperformer" ratings. And shares fell 34.2 percent to $45.04 per share by Dec. 19, the end of the week of the announcement.

In a research note published at the time, Piper Jaffray analyst Jesse Pichel called the company's polysilicon-manufacturing targets "overly aggressive" and said that "uncertainties still exist" with respect to shareholder lawsuits and the company's low silicon costs.

LDK still faces a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and a class-action lawsuit but says it is confident of the independent audit's findings.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

3,000 tons polysilicon project started in Xinjin, Chengdu

December 29th 2007 the Tianwei Sichuan Polysilicon broke ground for the 3,000 tons polysilicon project, and the total investment is about 2.7 billion RMB, and the project will be completed in 2010.

The biggest share holder of Tianwei Sichuan Polysilicon is Tianwei Baobian, and Tianwei Baobian plans to start another 3,000 tons polysilicon project in 2008 in Leshan, Sichuan.

Global production of solar cells went up by 50 percent in 2007

Washington, Jan 1 (ANI): Scientists have said that the production of solar cells known as photovoltaics (PVs) jumped up to 3,800 megawatts worldwide, a total jump of 50 percent, in 2007.

According to a report in ENN, photovoltaics, which directly convert sunlight into electricity, include both traditional, polysilicon-based solar cell technologies and new thin-film technologies.
Thin-film manufacturing involves depositing extremely thin layers of photosensitive materials on glass, metal, or plastics.

It is the advancement of these thin-film technologies in 2006 that scientists attribute as to causing this phenomenonal rise in the production of solar cells.

While thin films are not as efficient at converting sunlight to electricity, they currently cost less, and their physical flexibility makes them more versatile than traditional solar cells.

The top five PV-producing countries are Japan, China, Germany, Taiwan, and the United States.

Though the increase in production of PVs in these countries is remarkable, the recent growth in China is the most astonishing. Thats because after almost tripling its PV production in 2006, it is believed to have more than doubled the output in 2007. Having eclipsed Germany in 2007 to take the number two spot, China is now on track to become the number one PV producer in 2008.

Japan, the United States, and Spain round out the top four markets with 350, 141, and 70 megawatts installed in 2006, respectively. In fact, thanks to a residential PV incentive program, Japan now has over 250,000 homes with PV systems.

The report also states that the growth in installations in the United States increased from 20 percent in 2005 to 31 percent in 2006, primarily driven by California and New Jersey. Initial estimates for the United States as a whole indicate that PV incentives helped to achieve an incredible 83-percent growth in installations in 2007.

Also, the average price for a PV module, excluding installation and other system costs, has dropped from almost $100 per watt in 1975 to less than $4 per watt at the end of 2006. With expanding polysilicon supplies, average PV prices are projected to drop to $2 per watt in 2010.

For thin-film PV, production costs are expected to reach $1 per watt in 2010, at which point solar PV will become competitive with coal-fired electricity.