Thin film industry association launched06. March 2012 | Markets & Trends | By: Jonathan Gifford
A collection of six companies manufacturing thin film photovoltaics has formed an industry coalition called PVthin. The association aims to promote the benefits of thin film technologies and represent the industry segment in public policy debates.
The PVthin coalition was launched today and the founding members are Abound Solar, Arendi, Calyxo, First Solar, GE Energy and 5N Plus. All founding members are CdTe producers or suppliers. However, 5N Plus supplies both CdTe and CIGS manufacturers and GE Energy markets CIGS panels. GE will switch entirely to CdTe eventually, as was announced in October 2011, as it pursues the technology at its module plant in Colorado, which is currently under construction.
Significantly CdTe powerhouse First Solar is a founding member of the group. Not only a CdTe, or thin film giant, First Solar remains one of the world’s biggest photovoltaic companies, recently being ranked by IMS Research as the second largest in the world, behind Suntech.
While no producers entirely focused on CIGS modules are a member of the coalition, industry sources have told pv magazine that some CIGS manufacturers may be interested in joining the coalition.
The inaugural President of PVthin Adreas Wade said, in a statement announcing the coalition, that as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly product, thin film modules offer a unique set of advantages over other technologies. Keen not to step on any toes, Wade added: "PVthin complements the excellent work of umbrella associations such as EPIA in Europe, SEIA in the US, and BSW in Germany and does not seek to create a rival organization."
PVthin will have its secretariat in Belgium and has launched the website pvthin.org
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