South Korea-based solar module manufacturer Hanwha Q Cells will invest a total of KRW1.5 trillion ($1.28 billion) over the next five years to expand solar module manufacturing capacity and increase research and development activities in its home country.
“The overall investment plan will include a 3.1 GW production capacity expansion in Korea, with the plan being to expand Q Cells’ Korean production capacity to 7.6 GW by 2025,” a spokesperson from the company told pv magazine. “Some of the funds from this investment pledge will be steered towards TOPCon and tandem perovskite technology … however, the 1.5 trillion figure is intended to be invested into a number of avenues.”
“The expanded production capacity will include perovskite and TOPCon lines, but it is as yet undetermined what precise capacity this will be,” the spokesperson went on to say, without providing further details.
The South Korean market is expected to see the deployment of more than 15 GW of PV capacity by the end of the decade and several domestic manufacturers are competing to secure a slice of this cake, including module manufacturer Hyundai Energy Solutions, among others. Hyundai is planning to build a 1.37 GW facility and recently opened a 750 MW panel factory in Eumseong county, in South Korea's North Chungcheong province, which brought its current module capacity of 1.35 GW.
South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (Motie) introduced carbon footprint rules for solar modules in May 2020. These rules are similar to those applied in France, where large scale solar tenders take low-carbon manufacturing into account, as well as the price developers agree to accept for the power generated. South Korea, like France, has an extensive nuclear power generation capacity which aids the low-carbon efforts of domestic solar panel manufacturers.
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