Germany’s 1Komma5° To Set Up 5 GW TOPCon Plant

Germany’s 1Komma5° To Set Up 5 GW TOPCon Plant

Hamburg-based energy startup 1Komma5°, which prides itself on making modules using Made in Germany polysilicon, has announced plans for a 5 GW tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) module assembly plant in Germany.\

Founded in 2021, 1Komma5° successfully rolled out the first of its modules at the end of 2022.

For its software application, 1Komma5° secured an undisclosed investment from venture capital firm 2150 recently. The investment is expected to support a development site and a test laboratory in Berlin in 2024.

1Komma5° had raised €250 million (US$263 million) in equity through a Series B funding round. In addition to this, €215 million was raised through re-investment options.

With a target to start commercial operations in 2024, the TOPCon plant will have an initial annual nameplate capacity of 1GW before increasing it to 5GW by 2030, said Jannik Schall, Co-founder of 1Komma5°.

The production plant is expected to be located either in Brandenburg or Saxony, said Schall. 1Komma5° is focused on Europe for now, covering key markets like Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Finland and Italy – besides Australia. The focus follows its focus on rooftop solar.

1Komma5°’s move into an expanded manufacturing role marks the increasing focus in Europe and the US for a strong domestic manufacturing base, to reduce reliance on China. However, industry people gave pointed out the vast gulf between China made modules and European modules, with Chinese prices set to be almost 50% lower, unless manufacturing innovations can lessen the gap for European manufacturers. With finances tight and growth almost non-existent, many people are skeptical about the European push for what in effect are higher priced modules, unless the subsidy culture continues. The latter is not as unlikely as it might seem, considering that skepticism about solar continues to exist in many countries across Europe or even the US for that matter, thanks to the many fewer days of sunshine the region gets.

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