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With a revival in solar demand and prices, will the South Korean panel makers become more aggressive

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Solar Panel Industry – South Korea

The South Korean conglomerates LG, Hyundai and Samsung, all entered the solar cell and panel manufacturing space during 2010-11 when the whole solar industry was seeing a massive boom in demand with stable pricing. These companies are present in a wide range of industries such as electronics, shipbuilding, financing etc. The Korean chaebols thought that this was an industry that they could not afford to miss. However, the vicious downturn after 2012 made them rethink their expansion plans. As the massive Chinese overcapacity led to plunging solar panel prices, these companies went into hibernation. Except for Hanwha, South Korean companies more or less disappeared from the scene. OCI the polysilicon maker was the other Korean company which remained on the global solar radar.

Read more about South Korean Solar industry here.

With 2016 demand expected to reach almost 60 GW and solar panel prices increasing slightly, it seems that LG has decided to get aggressive in the solar energy space once again. This famous maker of LED TVs, mobile phones and other household gadgets plans to rapidly increase its capacity of solar panels in Korea. The company plans to increase its capacity to 1800 MW by 2018, with an investment of $435 million that will be spent on building additional solar panel and cells lines. Note LG makes solar panels using the n-type monocrystalline technology, which has high efficiencies, costs and prices. This is similar to what is being made by other top Western solar manufacturers such as Sunpower and Silveo. Even Panasonic which is known to make some of the highest efficiency commercial solar panels uses the same technology.

Note South Korea is the 3rd largest solar manufacturing country after China and Taiwan. The country has got some heavyweights such as OCI and Hanwha. Now it remains to be seen whether the other Korean chaebols make an aggressive expansion into the solar panel industry following the likes of LG.

PG

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to greensneha@yahoo.in

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