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Yet another major solar thin film technology player gives up and closes shop

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TSMC gives up Thin Film

The largest Taiwanese semiconductor company TSMC has also thrown in the towel with regards to solar thin film technology. After sinking in more than $300 million of investment and more than 6 years of R&D development, TSMC is going to shut down its CIGS efforts and get out of solar technology. Note TSMC like other major Taiwanese companies such as AUO and UMC had made big plans for solar development and manufacturing during the 2008-2010 timeframe, when solar was going by leaps and bounds. However, relentless competition from the major Chinese companies and severe oversupply has made many global companies give up on solar technology. While some have shut down their solar plans outright like GE, Siemens and others, the other major players have become bits and pieces players. They are no longer investing big time in solar manufacturing or development.

TSMC had also bought a major stake in Motech which is one of the largest pure play silicon solar cell manufacturers in the world. I am not sure what TSMC is going to do about that stake. Motech’s shares have fallen quite sharply, as low prices and a global energy price crash has hurt the Taiwanese solar sector.

CIGs technology does not have many major proponents left. Already 2 major waves of thin film solar technology bankruptcies have taken place. Hanergy is beset by corruption and fraud issues and is no longer a major solar thin film company. The only major thin film tech players left are First Solar and Solar Frontier. Others have left the field for the silicon players. TSMC was not a major solar panel supplier so its bankruptcy would not hurt the solar industry field much.



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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