Hanwha pushes solar at Davos economic forum

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Hanwha pushes solar at Davos economic forum

Hanwha Group is doing more than talking the talk to promote its solar energy business at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Not only did Korea’s 10th-largest conglomerate send five top executives to the event, but it donated a 280-kilowatt solar array to the Congress Center, making the gathering more environmentally friendly.

Hanhwa donated the facility last January and it went online in November.

The chaebol said five of its executives attended this year’s forum, including Hanwha Q Cells Chief Strategy Officer Kim Dong-kwan, who is also the eldest son of Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn.

Hanwha, which counts Hanwha Q Cells and Hanwha SolarOne as solar power business affiliates, said that it has been communicating with the CEOs of global corporations to find out the coming trends and promote its solar energy businesses.

“Hanwha Group will continue to invest in the solar energy business following the philosophy of ‘contributing to humankind’s future,’?” said Kim Dong-kwan in an interview with local media. “Not only producing solar modules and cells, but operating and investing solar power plants will enlarge the market size, and eventually bring about an era where solar power becomes the most important part of electricity generation.”

This year, Hanwha expects the global market to grow more than 20 percent and to install 40 to 45 solar power modules, each one capable of producing 1 gigawatt, worldwide.

Hanwha Q Cells CEO Kim Hee-cheul said the company is especially eyeing sharp growth in China and Japan. According to Kim, Japan is expanding its solar power business after the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima, while China is also pursuing the business because of its heavy air pollution.

For China, he expects the country to install 20 solar power modules capable of producing 1 gigawatt every year and its total capacity to reach 150 gigawatts by 2020.

To follow those trends, Hanwha Q Cells said that it is expanding its solar cell production line in Malaysia by 200 megawatts. The company has a 200-megawatt power cell production plant in Germany and a 900-megawatt plant in Malaysia. The company said if the expansion is finished by end of this year, its total solar cell production capacity will reach 1.3 gigawatts.

Hanwha Group previously said that it aims to become the world’s first company to vertically integrate its solar power business, from manufacturing solar power cells and modules to operating solar power plants.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]
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