Honda opens greener solar cell facility

More solar news!

Honda Soltec, a subsidiary of the car maker Honda, opened its new solar cell production facility in Kumamoto, Japan. Instead of silicon, the company’s solar cell uses a thin film made up from a compound of copper, indium, gallium and selenum (CIGS), which Honda said reduces 50% of energy consumed during manufacturing compared to the production of conventional crystal silicon solar cells.

50% less energy consumed = more eco-friendly + lower energy costs

The question is, will the product itself be cheaper?

Honda began mass production of the solar cells last month mostly for domestic distribution including solar cells for homes throughout Japan. The company says it is also planning to export them soon. The plant is expected to reach an annual maximum capacity of 27.5 megawatts, equivalent to powering around 9,000 houses by second quarter next year.

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The global solar electricity (also called photovoltaic or PV) market is growing at more than 30% per year with Germany and Japan leading the market mostly because of government incentive policies, according to DuPont, a PV materials supplier. Around 94% of all PV modules today are made out of crystalline silicon, DuPont said.

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