Taiwan’s LED Industry Loses Momentum on Incentive Issue

Recognized as the world’s No.2 LED maker for many years in terms of industry revenue, Taiwan is likely to be unseated by South Korea this year because of the lack of government incentives to consumers of LED lamps, according to Taiwan’s top two LED makers.

Y.F. Yeh, chairman of Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd., currently Taiwan’s No.1 LED packager, recently pointed out that mainland China and South Korea are poised to surpass Taiwan in LED production as a result of government subsidy to LED-lighting consumers.

His counterpart at No.1 chipmaker Epistar Corp., B.J. Lee, lamented that if Taiwan government fails to offer incentives to the consumers, Taiwan will eventually depend on foreign suppliers for the lamps, thereby eating into the island’s LED industry.

Yeh noted that Taiwan’s LED industry has developed for nearly 30 years and snatched up to 20% of the world market. However, the shining title will be likely taken over by South Korea, whose LED industry is estimated to see market share rise to 23% this year from 14% in 2009. He called on the Taiwan government to offer incentives as quickly as possible.

Compared to the average US$1 subsidy governments throughout the world offer for every 15 kilowatt of electricity per hour that a solar-power plant generates, Lee said the same amount of subsidy can help save 83 kilowatt per hour with LED lamps.

Yeh estimated an LED lamp can generate 116 kilograms less of carbon dioxide a year compared with an incandescent light bulb on the basis of 10 hours of non-stop operation a day, which means an LED lamp can reduce the greenhouse gas volume that requires at least 10 trees to absorb a year, given that a tree absorbs 10.6 kilograms a year.

(by Ken Liu)

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