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Samsung, LG bet on solar energy devices

The country’s top electronics makers are attempting to make big investments in solar energy projects, designating them as a new future growth engine.

At the EXPO Solar 2011 at the KINTEX in Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday, local electronics giants Samsung and LG Electronics both featured advanced solar modules which they claim are “highly efficient.”

The event takes place as major firms have pledged earlier this year that they would make large investments in new growth engines, which includes solar energy projects.

According to a report about the photovoltaic industry in 2011, recently published in SERI Quarterly, “the global solar photovoltaic market ended 2010 with an estimated growth of 68 percent year-on-year, with output growing from 7.2 gigawatt in 2009 to 12.3 gigawatt in 2010.

Kang Hee-chan, author of the report, said Korea’s solar photovoltaic installations are expected to grow significantly this year and that the photovoltaic industry has “strong potential to be a viable engine of future growth that creates jobs.”

Samsung Electronics displayed a 260 watt crystal white module and a 250 watt premium black module.

Company officials explained that it is the first time for a local firm to show a 260 watt module as a product for manufacturing. They added that it will go through trial production by the first half of this year.

LG Electronics, Samsung’s biggest rival, also presented a 260 watt single crystal module and other modules that could be easily place on the roofs at the event.

The 260 watt monocrystalline module is about 13 percent more efficient than its previous model, meaning it could produce more energy in a limited space, its officials said.

The single and multicrystalline modules will be produced in the second half of this year, they said.

The global electronics firm also announced that it will make additional investment to increase the production capacity up to 330 megawatt this year. It expects to upgrade it further to 1 gigawatt by 2013.

“The solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries due to the active supply policies, high energy-spending and environment-friendly policy measures,” said Cho Kwan-shik, vice president of the solar business team at LG Electronics.

“In a bid to raise it as a core growth engine, we will continuously make investments to become one of the global top 10 firms in 2013.”

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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