Global News Exclusive
Meeting Global Demand for Clean Energy with Full Scale Production of Solar Panels
Energy consumption and demand in Asia has increased in the last decade, from 2002 to 2012. With such an energy landscape, energy security has become a key issue that needs to be addressed.
- Panasonic News Portal reporter Fizzah talks with key representatives on the photovoltaic business
At Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah, just south of Penang, Panasonic Energy Malaysia (PECMY), which is now operating at full scale mass production, manufactures Panasonic HIT solar modules with top class cell conversion efficiency of 22.0%. This essentially means that given restricted land space, Panasonic HIT solar modules are still able to generate a relatively high amount of power, even at high temperatures, an added advantage in tropical Asian countries.
- Production at the facility runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; manufacturing 1 solar module every 30 seconds!
- The fully integrated solar factory, producing wafers to solar cells to modules, has reached its full 300MW production capacity.
A green factory that considers environmental preservation, the factory not only generates its own clean energy via HIT solar modules on its rooftop to power the office lighting and air conditioning, PECMY has also adopted LED lighting, heat reflecting glass as well as insulation on the rooftops to reduce electricity usage. In addition, the office makes the best use of natural daytime lighting by incorporating large windows.
Reduction in discharged water waste as well as the incorporation of a wastewater collection facility in the manufacturing process, aims to reduce environmental impacts as much as possible.
As a recipient of one of the most amounts of sunlight in Malaysia, the state of Kedah serves as a suitable location from which Panasonic can effectively support the demand for renewable energy worldwide. Feed-in-tariffs (introduced locally in December 2011) and other stimulus measures also provide leverage for the facility to expand sales of its solar business. PECMY aims to strengthen cost competitiveness through reduced transportation costs and utility of local materials, as well as provide a stable product supply through flexible responses to demand fluctuations around the world.
Solar energy forms an important part of tomorrow's energy mix. The solar business is booming as nations continue to examine ways to balance the need for stable energy supply with the minimisation of its carbon footprint.