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August 5, 2009

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QS Solar to shine with low prices

CHINESE solar cell maker QS Solar has cut the prices of its products to US$1 per watt-peak, which it claims is the world's lowest, bringing solar power costs closer to conventional generation.

Unlike most competitors in the solar power industry which use polysilicon as a raw material, QS uses the less costly thin film technology. Watt-peak, or Wp, is a measure of the peak power output of a solar cell device.

Merrill Lynch analysts said in a June report that they expect Asian solar cell vendors to price their solar cell modules below US$2 per Wp by the end of this year, which will be 10-20 percent cheaper than prices offered by European and United States makers.

QS Solar yesterday said it aims to further cut the prices of its products to 80-85 US cents per Wp in 2011 and to 65 US cents in 2012.

"The prices mean solar power generation costs will be on par with electricity generated from coal burning in one to two years," QS Solar said.

It plans to expand capacity to 400-500 megawatts next year from a new plant in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province.


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