DSM expands solar product portfolio with Sunshine technology acquisition
In 2016, DSM entered into a commercial alliance with Sunshine. Now, through this acquisition, DSM will expand its product portfolio for the solar PV market to include polymer sheets that protect PV solar cells. Financial details have not been disclosed.
Same sun. More power.™
Solar energy has become an important source in the global energy mix over the past decade. However, for solar energy to reach grid parity and become globally more cost-competitive with energy from fossil fuels, the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of solar PV needs to be reduced. Polymer backsheets are essential to the performance of solar PV modules: they increase both the modules’ durability and output (kWh). Building on the success of its industry-leading anti-reflective coating, DSM now aims to commercialize a portfolio of innovations focused on lowering the cost of solar energy by providing solid, durable and sustainable materials solutions: Same sun. More power.™
The world’s largest producer of photovoltaic modules
China is the world’s largest producer of photovoltaic modules and also has the greatest demand for PV backsheet coatings. According to Jianguo Wu, Director of CPVT, China’s solar module production rose from 43 GW in 2015 to more than 75 GW in 2016 - and is expected to exceed 100GW towards the end of China’s 13th Five-year Plan (2020). This steep growth underpins the very promising prospects for China’s solar PV industry.
Against this backdrop, new technologies have emerged for the Solar PV market, resulting in high-performance backsheets at affordable cost. With this technology acquisition, DSM embraces a new generation of innovative, adhesive-free and non-fluorinated backsheets - balancing the needs of the rapidly developing PV industry with the need to protect the environment through sustainable products.
China-based Sunshine was identified as having a strong fit with the strategy and ambition of DSM because it produces high-performance, innovative backsheet products with a proprietary technology base. In particular, Sunshine has developed new backsheet products using co-extrusion technology, which eliminates the risk of interlayer adhesion and delivers superior performance characteristics compared to current laminated backsheets. The co-extrusion process also enables flexibility in new product designs, adding even more value for customers.
“Sunshine has been able to combine unique high performance and cost-efficiency without using fluorinated materials,” says Oscar Goddijn, Vice President DSM Advanced Surfaces. “As a high-end, cost-effective, non-fluorinated and fully recyclable product, this backsheet fits very well into DSM’s overall product portfolio and sustainability strategy.”
Dr. Weiming Jiang, DSM China President, says: “The acquisition aligns with DSM’s sustainable development strategy, and also fits with China’s 13th Five-year Plan for Energy. It further demonstrates DSM’s support for growing local products made for global consumption and for expanding China’s clean and green energy market.”