Solar energy able to compete with traditional energy in Indonesia and Philippines says Tokyo Electron

“Growth rate of industry nothing less than spectacular”

The solar industry has come far within the last few years and is now able to compete with traditional sources of energy in Indonesia and the Philippines says Sean Nakatani, Senior Manager in the solar department of the global technology giant Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL).

The TEL executive is a featured speaker at the upcoming Clean Power Asia 2012 in Bali in May – a meeting that will gather some 600 leading Asian renewable and cleaner fossil power experts, utilities, energy ministries, regulators, investors and technology and service providers.

Promising trend in Asian markets

Sean Nakatani says they see a very promising trend with Asian markets playing a prominent role not only in the manufacturing of solar modules, but also in their installation.  He explains:  “the types of installations are very diverse within the region, ranging from private rooftop installations in Japan to megasolar plants in South and South East Asia.  We are delighted to see that end users start prioritising the importance of cost per khw rather than just cost per wp, and that opens up many opportunities for our technology.”

He continues:  “as for the growth sectors, there are several prominent ones, with mainly c-Si megasolar plants in China being the biggest so far, closely followed by TF based grid-connected megasolar installations in India.  Apart from that, we expect much growth from micro-grid markets of Indonesia and Philippines, where small to mid-range solar farms are able to compete with traditional sources of energy.”

The theme of the TEL solar expert’s address at the Clean Power Asia 2012 conference in Indonesia is:  “On track to deliver grid parity solutions in Indonesia and the region.” Sean Nakatani explains:  While there are several existing installations of our technology-based panels, starting with the 0.5MW test site in Indonesia to the 60MW plant in India, we want to focus more on the near future potential.  We have prepared an electricity cost calculation achievable in Indonesia’s conditions, when based on Tokyo Electron technology. Our message is to show how the solar industry has come within the last few years, able to compete now with subsidised diesel electricity in Indonesia.”

Obstacles to renewable energy

According to Sean Nakatani there are several obstacles that stand in the way of the adaptation and implementation of renewable energy in Asia and these differ from country to country.  He continues:  “in some, these could be the absence of a grid, the need to invest in infrastructure, which means higher costs for developers and IPPs.  And existing subsidies for traditional energy sources remain one of the big hurdles preventing widespread development of solar power in Asia, making new energy sources very impractical, even though in the perfect market these sources would have been price competitive.”

He says however that they believe that most of these problems are temporary, “and we work together with regulators, legislators, investors and end users in order for everybody involved to approach new energy sources with an open mind.  We are one of few, if not only, technology providers, who can provide comprehensive solutions to satisfy both growing energy demand and urge to shift to cleaner economy.  Our vision is to establish sustainable local solar industries, starting from module manufacturing, and all the way downstream, thus allowing countries a higher degree of independence in their energy needs.”

Solar’s future spectacular

The Tokyo Electron solar expert says the ability of solar power to compete with conventional sources of electricity will be the only way for the industry to overcome current difficulties and prosper into the future.  Says Sean Nakatani:  “less than one percent of the total global electricity demand is being supplied by solar now, and very few other industries may wish for such an enormous market potential.  The progress in adaptation of solar power is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but even then, the existing and future growth pace of the industry is nothing less than spectacular.”

TEL contact details:

Shigeki “Sean” Nakatani
Desk: +81.3.5561.7155 / Cell: +81.90.8025.8997

Event dates and location:
14 - 16 May 2012
Bali International Convention Centre, Bali, Indonesia

Event website:

For more information or media accreditation:
Communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Tel.  +27 21 700 3558
Fax.  +27 21 700 3501
Mobile: +27 82 562 7844


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