Sunday, July 29, 2007

Greening the Big Blue

Cleantechblog offer some tantalising speculation about IBMs move into the solar cell business. Greenwash, or clean-up? We will have a better idea within the next eighteen months.

We were talking on a range of topics, but one that piqued my interest was the description of IBM’s work in photovoltaics – and a few thoughts on where they were going. I did not ask, and he did not offer, any particulars on the work in progress, but he did make mention of a few points that I thought were well worth repeating:
  • IBM is expecting to be a player in the solar cell business – likely seeing commercial impact in the next 18 months to two years.
  • IBM is developing both advanced crystalline technologies and CIGS processes – relying on their semiconductor manufacturing expertise and nanotech research to make breakthroughs in controlling PV manufacturing processes.
  • You will not likely see IBM making branded modules – perhaps instead a cell production business strategy?
  • IBM sees the potential for very high efficiency multi-junction cells in foreseeable future.
The fascinating part is that IBM is not a newcomer to the game.

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