Masdar’s Amorphous Silicon Division in Trouble
Masdar, Abu Dhabi owned Green Company plans to build a Solar Thermal plant called “Shams 1″ near Abu Dhabi. Masdar PV has been in the news recently with the Dismissal of its top executives as its German Thin Film plant is facing trouble.Masdar PV sourced technology and equipment from Applied Material’s Thin Film Division which is struggling to survive against the onslaught of Crystalline Silicon (c-Si) competition.Applied Materials has drastically reduced support to its “SunFab” amorphous Silicon (a-Si) thin film technology with 90% drop in Poly Silicon prices making a-Si technology uncompetitive.Q-Cells and Suntech,two major customers of Applied Material’s SunFab product have already written off their investment.With these two Solar Stalwarts failing to make a-Si products viable,it is highly unlikely that Masdar PV will get much success from this venture.
Masdar partners with Abengoa and Total in Solar Thermal Plant
With Thin Film not getting much success , Masdar PV is apparently changing its strategy by building a 100 MW CSP plant near Abu Dhabi with Abengoa and Total as minority partners.Abengoa is a world leader in Solar Thermal Technology with considerable experience in building and operating big solar plants in US and Spain.The role of France’s Oil Giant Total is not totally clear except the that company has some project experience in Solar Installations through its subsidiary Tenesol.Super Rich Abu Dhabi has been trying to make major investments in Renewable Energy through big bang projects like the worlds first carbon neutral city “Masdar”.Other countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia have also shown interest in establishing Solar Plants given the favorable solar conditions of the region.
Abengoa SA of Spain joined Total SA and Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar, in building the Middle East’s first major solar power plant.The project, named Shams 1, will cost $500 million to $700 million and generate about 100 megawatts of power in Madinat Zayed, about 120 kilometers southwest of the U.A.E. capital city. Total and Abengoa each will own 20 percent of the project, with Masdar controlling 60 percent, according to a statement.
Shares in Seville, Spain-based Abengoa rose as much as 10 percent and traded at 14.46 euros, up 8.2 percent, at 2:25 local time.Abu Dhabi, holder of almost all the oil reserves in the United Arab Emirates, aims to position itself as a hub for renewable energy by building the world’s first zero-carbon city and hosting the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency.Masdar already has a 10 megawatt photovoltaic, or PV, plant in Abu Dhabi. PV plants use solar panels, which convert sunlight directly to electricity. Concentrated solar reflects sunlight, usually with mirrors to heat liquids that generate power with steam turbines.