Hanwha Group to invest US$3.3bn in clean energy over next five years, looking to establish solar R&D hub in South Korea

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Hanwha is looking to create a solar R&D hub in South Korea as it pursues a competitive advantage in future technology. Image: Qcells

South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group has said it will invest US$3.3 billion in solar and wind technology and intends to create a solar R&D hub in Korea as part of a massive investment strategy focused on several industrial areas.

Parent company of module manufacturer Qcells, Hanwha Group will invest a total of KRW37.6 trillion (US$29.7 billion) over the next five years, including KRW20 trillion (US$15.8 billion) in domestic industries such as energy, carbon neutrality, defence and aerospace.

Hanwha said that in uncertain times, “the competitive advantage of existing businesses is further strengthened” and that it was “necessary to invest in future technology” to lead the market.

The Seoul-headquartered company plans to invest around US$3.3 billion in clean energy manufacturing in South Korea, aiming to establish a solar R&D hub in the country and build “up-to-date production facilities to grow Korea into a ‘global core base’ that can produce high-efficiency solar products”.

It also intends to “expand the business area for energy development that combines solar and wind power”.

“Through these investments, we are determined to further solidify our status as an eco-friendly energy supply base in the international environment where the need for ‘energy security’ is growing,” Hanwha said in a statement.  

Indeed, recently rebranded Hanwha subsidiary Qcells is preparing itself for a competitive future market environment, investing in expanded manufacturing capacities and new solar cell structures, its CEO Justin Lee told reporters at this month’s Intersolar event in Munich.

Hanwha earlier this month confirmed a US$320 million investment into expanding its solar cell and module production facilities in Korea and the US respectively, with an extra 900MW of cell capacity and 1.4GW of module capacity set to come onstream from H1 2023. Once online, Qcells will be responsible for around one-third of the US’ total solar module production capacity.

The huge scale of this total investment is nothing new, however, with the group investing close to the same amount (KRW22.6 trillion) in its operations – both home and abroad – over the previous five years.

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