SolarWorld AG: A billion solar wafers “made in Germany”

With a billion solar wafers produced in Germany, the solar technology company SolarWorld AG looks back on a long history in the industry. The billionth wafer recently rolled off the SolarWorld line at the Freiberg site acquired in 2001 from Bayer. Further processed into solar cells, these silicon discs correspond to the performance of four nuclear power plants and cover an area of 3,700 soccer fields. The quantity of wafers now produced every day by SolarWorld is equivalent to the annual electricity requirement of 1,600 people.

“The record of one billion wafers is a milestone and underscores the performance of our highly-automated and modern production facility,” explains SolarWorld CEO Dr.-Ing. E. h. Frank Asbeck.

Solar technology has a long tradition in Germany. Solar wafers, thin silicon discs that today are about 0.2 mm thick, have been specially produced for the solar industry for over 20 years in Freiberg in Saxony. Solar wafers have only a positive pole and are therefore not yet electrically conductive. The cells are given a special coating for processing into electrically conductive solar cells. In a standard module, 60 solar cells are connected together and weather-proofed.

The production facility of SolarWorld AG is not only the oldest wafer production site in Europe, but also the largest outside of Asia. The highly-modern factory relies on efficient and particularly resource-friendly production processes. In recognition of this, it was the only production facility in the photovoltaic industry to receive both the bronze and silver CETPM Awards, and the Manufacturing Excellence Award.

About SolarWorld AG: SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs approximately 2,400 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, USA. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld manages all stages of production, including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has been publically traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at

Source: SolarWorld AG/