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South Korea boosts drive for greener electronics

Posted: 18 Jan 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Korea green electronics? solar cell? 3D TV? touchscreen?

With the theme, "You are the first witness to the future," the Korea Electronics Grand Fair 2009 showcased the latest technologies including eco-friendly (green) devices, touch sensing and the 3D displays.

With all the industries fighting for product differentiation and the next killer applications, low power consumption and eco-friendliness (green tech), regardless of industries, are likely to be the continuing motto in 2010. Eco-friendliness has become an unavoidable task for governments and companies. Low power consumption, which is closely related to the eco-friendliness, is no longer just an issue for mobile products. The touch-sensing technology, now a general trend for human interface, has been implemented in quite a few products but its whole potential is yet to be tapped. On top of that, it is worth noticing that 3D display technology, whose development has been quite slow, is now emerging as a new product area that can carry on the torch ignited by the LED backlight LCD TV.

Green energy
New renewable energy, which includes both new energy and renewable energy, is emerging as an important part of the green energy technology, being one of the energy sources that can replace fossil fuels and nuclear fission. Solar energy, representative of the renewable energy, is projected to achieve grid parity in two to three years, meaning the cost for solar energy would become the same as that of fossil fuel. According to Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the solar energy market is expected to show annual average growth rate of 15.3 per cent and by 2030 would be 4.1 per cent of the whole energy market.

The core of the solar energy sector is the solar cell. But Korea's solar cell industry still has a far way to go in terms of technology and materials. "The original technologies for solar energy are possessed by the United States and Germany. Korea's limitation in the field is that it does not have distinct original technologies, as its development of new renewable technologies has started too late" said Choi, Shin-Hee, a technical director of Noisetec Corp. The level of Korea's solar technology is said to be 60 to 80 per cent and its market share only 0.7 per cent with the core materials and components for the technology mostly been imported.

Despite this fact, 2010 is expected to become the year when Korea's solar cell industry takes off. Local companies including Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are recently accelerating the development of solar cells and company like Hanwha Chemical Corp. has announced that it is entering the solar industry for business diversification.

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