Shares of major light-emitting-diode (LED) chipmakers, led by Epistar Corp (晶電), rallied yesterday on speculation that the government is planning to invest NT$50 billion (US$1.48 billion) to develop key green industries, including LED.
The share prices of leading LED chipmakers — Epistar and Formosa Epitaxy Inc (璨圓光電) — surged 6.93 percent and 7 percent to close at NT$61.7 and NT$26.75 respectively, outpacing the benchmark TAIEX, which gained 1.3 percent yesterday.
As part of the government’s efforts to expand the scope of its NT$500 billion public construction program, the Cabinet plans to allocate 10 percent of the spending to the adoption of devices powered by renewable energy like solar cells, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday, citing Minister of the Public Construction Commission Fan Liang-shiow (范良銹).
The National Development Fund would prioritize the nation’s green energy industries as its investment targets to sharpen local companies’ technological edge, the report said, citing unnamed government officials.
The Cabinet is expected to give the go-ahead to the proposal in its weekly meeting next Thursday, the report said.
The news also sent the share prices of LED chip packagers Everlight Electronics Co (億光電子) and Unity Opto Technology Co (東貝光電) up 4.27 percent and 6.84 percent to close at NT$68.3 and NT$22.65 respectively.
LED can be widely used in a broad range of lighting applications, such as displays in electronic devices, road signs, traffic lights, large public information screens and video displays.
The global market for LEDs is likely to more than double in size by 2012 from last year’s US$5 billion as an increasing number of countries and consumers switch to energy-saving lights to cut expenses and reduce carbon emissions, a forecast by Taipei-based researcher LEDinside released last week said.
LEDinside forecast that the LED penetration rate in notebook computers could rise to more than 60 percent by next year as PC makers launch more models with LED backlight screens, replacing cold cathode fluorescent lamps as the screen’s light source.
Taiwan is the world’s second-largest LED exporter with a quarter of the global market share after Japan, the market researcher said.
LEDs reduce energy consumption by emitting light from a chip rather than an incandescent filament in a light bulb, or charged gases in a fluorescent light tube. LEDs use about a tenth of the energy of an incandescent bulb and can last a decade or longer.