It was reported that Sekisui Chemical, a Japanese plastics maker, will begin mass production of perovskite solar cells (PSCs) in an effort to catch up with Chinese competitors.
The company will invest more than 10 billion yen (over USD $68 million) to build a new manufacturing facility with an annual production volume of several hundred thousand square meters by 2030.
Sekisui Chemical has used its technology for sealing liquid crystal displays to prevent liquids and gases from seeping in to rectify the problem of PSC's sensitivity to moisture, and has reportedly already achieved an estimated 10 years' durability for the bendable cells.
The Company has also managed an energy conversion efficiency of 15% using a 30 centimeter wide film, which is less efficient that the 20% possible with silicon. Sekisui Chemical is working to improve conversion efficiency, and will produce 1 meter-wide films, which are more efficient and cost effective.
Japanese companies were once ahead in the development and commercialization of silicon-type solar panels, but many were forced to withdraw when Chinese rivals became dominant with less expensive products. To avoid a repeat, the Japanese government announced in April a plan to support development of perovskite solar cells by installing them in public facilities, and by supporting the development of mass production.