Polysilicon, a precious commodity used in the production of solar panels, can be produced in China for slightly less than six dollars per kilogram, which sits around two dollars less than the next most competitive company. For those who are unfamiliar, polysilicon is the base building block for solar panels (the black background one sees when looking at the entirety of a solar panel). Polysilicon is an extremely sure form of silicon called Polycrystalline silicon that has semiconductor-like properties. Since silicon is Earth’s second most abundant element, it makes logical sense to use it in the production of solar PV panels. This element is vital in the production and progress in the solar industry.
“The plant will have a capacity of about 20,000 to 30,000 metric tons a year with ultra-fluid-bed-reactor technology, Chatila said. SunEdison, based in St. Peters, Missouri, currently has polysilicon capacity of 17,000 tons and is also considering a plant in Saudi Arabia, Chatila said” (renewableenergyworld.com).
Projects of this magnitude are exactly what is needed for the solar industry to continue to progress develop into the trillion dollar business it has the potential to evolve into. This financial incentive from SunEdison will be driving productivity to a new level in China:
“In June, the company said it will jointly develop 1.7 gigawatts of solar power projects in China with Chinese solar wafer manufacturer Huantai Group over the next five years. Construction may not start this year, Chatila said” (renewableenergyworld.com).