MUNICH, Germany and ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Could thin-film solar technology be the shortcut to grid-parity? What are the experiences with large-scale application of thin-film technology? Why do crystalline market leaders invest in thin-film technology?

The international solar conference 'The Thin-film Future' will provide a comprehensive overview of, and give an update on the latest developments in, the rapidly growing thin-film solar industry. This one-day event organized by SolarPlaza will take place on the 11th of June in Munich (Germany), just before the start of the world's largest PV exhibition Intersolar.

More than 10 major market players will speak during this unique event. Among them are leading manufacturers like Applied Materials and Q-Cells and ambitious new companies like NexPower and QS Solar. The net sales of the solar group of AMAT more than tripled last year, and the order book for new to-install equipment shows 1.9 billion dollars for "multiple solar factories" dating March 2008.

At the moment, the solar energy market largely depends on government incentives. For this to change, the price of solar energy has to go down. If the production cost of modules could be reduced to around US$1 per Wattpeak, solar energy would be competitive in many markets and the market potential for solar energy would be unlimited.

Leading crystalline manufacturers are rushing into thin-film. Sharp is constructing several factories adding up to 1 GW in 2010. Q-cells, the world's leading cell supplier, already made investments in 5 thin-film initiatives.

The US$1 per Wattpeak promise from AMAT and other thin-film turn-key equipment suppliers attracts a lot of new entrants into the market. In two years time, in Taiwan alone, 8 new factories will have been initiated. After the year 2010, the production capacity in Taiwan could exceed 1 GW per year.

Over 80 thin-film companies are already active. These companies currently represent a market share of around 8% of the world market. This share is expected to grow to an incredible 20% by 2010. is the global marketplace, providing free information and matchmaking services.

SolarPlaza has previously organized 11 international PV events in Spain, California, China, Italy, Greece and Taiwan.

On 2 September 2008, it will organize the second Global PV Demand Conference in Valencia (Spain). This expert event will discuss the demand-side dynamics, the expected oversupply in the market and related price elasticity consequences.

Johan Trip, +31-(0)10-2809198