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AUO’s Gigawatt Solar Ambitions hit an Environmental Bump over Manufacturing in Taiwan

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Taiwan and South Korean Companies have been making massive investments in the Solar Energy Space through both greenfield and brownfield expansion.South Korean Hanhwa has used the greenfield route by buying up a 49.99% stake in 4th largest Chinese solar producer Solarfun while global foundry leader TSMC has bought equity stakes in Stion and Motech.Samsung and LG thetwo South Korean Electronic giants are using the c-Si greenfield expansion route.AUO has used a partnership with Sunpower to bolster its solar ambitions.The two firms have set up a JV to build a 1 Gigawatt high efficiency crystalline silicon solar cell factory in Malaysia.This plant will use Sunpower’s technology to build the highest available commercial solar cells.

AUO hits environmental roadblock as Taiwanese court blocks plant expansion

AUO is one of the world’s leading LCD panel manufacturers with most of its manufacturing facilities located in Taiwan.However its phase 3 and 4 expansions in the Taiwan’s  Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) was suspended after the Taipei High Administrative Court ruled further assessment of their environmental impacts.AUO was planning to build a huge two solar manufacturing factories with a 2 GW planned capacity.Half of this capacity would use technology from Sunpower’s world beating monocrystalline technology.This setback seems temporary as the government will try its best to keep AUO’s investment in the country.AUO looks set to challenge the dominance of pure play Taiwanese cell producers like Motech,Gintech and upcoming solar players like TSMC.

AUO terminates plans for back-contact solar cell plant – Digitimes

Due to environment assessment issues brought forth by Taipei’s High Administrative Court, AU Optronics has been forced to terminate plans to construct a PV solar cell plant with an annual capacity of 2GWp in Changhua, Central Taiwan. According to industry sources, AUO originally planned to dedicate a part of the facility’s capacity to manufacture bifacial interdigitated back-contact solar cells, which were developed by US-based Sunpower.

AUO and Sunpower announced in May that they will jointly establish a high-efficiency solar cell plant in Malaysia. AUO reportedly has already stationed a team at Sunpower’s US headquarters to learn back-contact solar cell technology.

AUO’s Changhua factory had planned to assign 1GWp capacity each for the production of poly-Si and mono-Si solar cells, the sources indicated. With such manufacturing capability, especially for high-efficiency back-contact cell technology, AUO could have had a serious impact on Taiwan’s solar sector.


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

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