We are a major developer and
seller of photovoltaic energy solutions and a global leader in the development, manufacture and sale of silicon wafers to the semiconductor industry. We are one of the worlds leading developers of solar energy projects and, we believe, one of
the most geographically diverse. We believe that our technology leadership in silicon and downstream solar are enabling us to expand our downstream customer base and lower costs throughout the silicon wafer supply chain.
We are organized by end market, and have two reportable industry segments: Solar Energy and Semiconductor Materials. Our Solar Energy business
provides solar energy services that integrate the design, installation, financing, monitoring, operations and maintenance portions of the downstream solar market for our customers. The results of the business include the operating of, leasing of and
sale of solar energy systems and services to customers who purchase renewable energy by delivering solar power to them under long term power purchase arrangements and feed in tariff arrangements. Our Solar Energy business also manufactures
polysilicon, silicon wafers and solar modules to support our downstream solar business, as well as for sale to external customers. Our Semiconductor Materials business includes the development, production and marketing of semiconductor wafers with a
wide variety of features satisfying numerous product specifications to meet our customers exacting requirements, which wafers are utilized in the manufacture of semiconductor devices.
Solar Energy Business
In support of our
downstream solar business, our Solar Energy business manufactures polysilicon, silicon wafers and solar modules. While there continued to be external solar wafer sales during 2012, these sales were significantly diminished from prior year sales
levels and, going forward, solar wafer sales to external parties are expected to continue to decline to or remain at lower levels given our strategic shift to primarily supplying wafers for internal consumption by our solar energy services business.
Additionally, our Solar Energy business will sell solar modules to third parties in the event the opportunity aligns with our internal needs.
We provide our downstream customers with a simplified and economical way to purchase renewable energy by delivering solar power under
long-term power purchase arrangements with customers or feed-in tariff arrangements with government entities and utilities. Our solar energy services business is heavily dependent upon government subsidies, including U.S. federal incentive tax
credits, state-sponsored energy credits and foreign feed-in tariffs. In certain jurisdictions, the sale of a solar energy system would not be profitable today without these incentives. Our customers pay us only for the electricity output generated
by the solar energy systems we install on their rooftops, or other property, thereby avoiding the significant capital outlays otherwise usually associated with power plant projects, including typical solar power plants. Once installed, our solar
energy systems provide energy savings to customers and enable them to hedge a portion of their energy costs against volatile electricity prices by generating electricity during daylight hours when electricity prices are typically highest. Our
objective is to develop solar power generation assets that serve as a cost-effective clean energy alternative to central-generated power in select markets throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, India,
China, South Africa and, in the future, other countries in Asia and in South America.
Semiconductor Materials Business
Wafers are used as the base substrate for nearly all semiconductor devices, which in turn provide the foundation for the entire electronics
industry. We have developed a broad product portfolio of wafers, an extensive global manufacturing footprint, process technology expertise and supply chain flexibility, while increasing our capital efficiency and maintaining a lean operating