North Coast Solar Stocks

June 9, 2008

DuPont eyes $1 billion in solar revenue by 2013

Filed under: DD, DOW, FSLR, SPWR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 2:18 pm

By Steve Gelsi, MarketWatch
Last update: 2:12 p.m. EDT June 9, 2008

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. will double the manufacturing capacity of its electronic materials plant in Dongguan, China, as part of a move to grow its solar energy products business to $1 billion in five years, the company said Monday.

Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont (DD) , part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, currently generates about $300 million in revenue from its solar activities. Overall, the company generated more than $29 billion in revenue during 2007.

The materials technology company said it’ll ramp up production of its Solamet thick-film metallization paste for solar cells as it eyes the booming business of generating precious electricity from the sun.

“The photovoltaic industry is in the midst of a substantial surge globally, and demand for solar as a renewable energy source will continue to increase,” said Timothy McCann, vice president and general manager in charge of DuPont Electronic Technologies.

Specifically, the company said it expects that the photovoltaic market will grow by more than 30% in each of the next several years, “driving demand for existing and new materials that are more cost effective.”

The move by DuPont comes after a particularly lucrative period for the solar industry, especially with overseas demand from Europe.

Rival Dow Chemical (DOW) sells a variety of products for solar suppliers, including support foam for photovoltaic panels. Dow’s building products unit is also teaming up with Global Solar Energy on a project to create flexible solar roof shingles.

In the U.S., First Solar (FSLR) and SunPower (SPWR) — the two largest publicly traded standalone solar firms — saw their first-quarter net income by nine times and 12 times, respectively.

Rob Cockerill, photovoltaic marketing manager for DuPont’s microcircuit materials business, said the company’s Solamet metallization paste, which is made from silver and other materials, collects electricity produced by the photovoltaic cell and transports it out of the cell. The metal paste has applications both with traditional solar modules as well as newer, thin film solar arrays.

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