31 March 2011

Ascent re-focusing from BIPV/BAPV to high-value, emerging markets

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc of Thornton, CO, USA has announced a change in strategy that will focus its lightweight, flexible thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar module technology on applications for emerging and specialty markets.

In the past, Ascent has dedicated much of its resources to establishing a position in the building-applied and building-integrated photovoltaic (BAPV/BIPV) markets. The firm reckons that the new focus provides a clear path for the future and leverages its unique strengths.

Ascent says that producing solar modules that are lightweight and flexible gives it the ability to meet specialty needs for markets such as: military and defense; custom near-space applications; off-grid charging solutions in developing countries; power for portable electronics; and custom and standard products for rooftop integration on buses, trucks and trains. Ascent believes that it can sell its products in these markets at more attractive margins than currently possible for ground-mount applications or BIPV and BAPV markets.

“Ascent’s various BIPV/BAPV products are still important to our long-term growth and success... we will continue selective business development, testing and certification for those products,” notes chairman Dr Amit Kumar. “A number of economic considerations, including the serious reduction of government subsidies in major markets in Europe, indicate that these markets will be under some near-term pressure. Therefore, in the near term, we will focus our manufacturing and sales activities on emerging, high-value, specialty market applications,” he adds.

“Although our cash position is strong, we are taking steps to reduce staffing and operating costs that will minimize the company’s current cash burn rate,” continues Kumar.

With the change in strategy, CEO Farhad Moghadam is stepping down to pursue other interests and opportunities, and Ron Eller (a board member for the past two years) has been appointed president & CEO. Eller is a technology executive and management consultant with more than 25 years experience, including, most recently, running various divisions in the enterprise businesses of Hewlett Packard and Compaq Computer Corp.

Tags: Ascent Solar CIGS

Visit: www.ascentsolar.com

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