LONDON The Welsh Opto-electronics Forum’s Photovoltaic (PV) Group was launched today (March 9) bringing together a group of industrialists, scientists and companies involved in the rapidly growing photovoltaic industry.
The PV Group is to work with the private and public sectors to secure greater involvement for Wales in this international industry, attracting new investment and creating additional quality employment opportunities for Wales.
The group was launched by Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport, and Energy Minister for Wales whilst visiting the Sharp's manufacturing facility in Wrexham.
Davies said, “I am delighted that Wales is home to such prestigious international organisations, such as the Sharp Corporation, which has committed significant investment at its European PV module manufacturing facility in North Wales. Sharp, and the creation of the PV Group, will play a key role in positioning Wales at the forefront of this technology. Wales is also home to the largest type of PV installation of its kind in Europe, at Technium OpTIC at St Asaph.”
Professor Stuart Irvine, Chair of the Welsh Opto-electronics Forum’s PV Group, added, “The global PV industry reached $7.6billion in 2004 and is on course for growth of around 30-40 per cent annually. In Wales we have two of the three main manufacturers of PV products in the U.K.”
As well as Sharp's Wrexham facility that was opened July 2004 and assembles monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar modules for residential and commercial installations. ICP Solar has a manufacturing facility at Bridgend. The membership of the PV Group currently includes, Sharp Corporation (Sharp Solar), Dulas Ltd, PV Systems, Corus Colours, ICP Solar, Jantec Solar, IQE, WDA, and Technium OpTIC, with more to follow as the group is established.