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DuPont speeds up forecast for $1 billion in solar sales

Cheered by "continued explosive growth" in the market for solar energy gear, the chemicals titan says it will hit the $1 billion sales mark in 2010, ahead of earlier forecasts.

DuPont now expects $1 billion in photovoltaic market sales this year, up from a previous forecast to hit that mark in 2011, saying interest for solar materials continues to spike.

The company, which also makes a range of chemicals and iconic products like Kevlar and Tyvek, said the new forecast is due to research that makes solar technology cheaper and brings costs more in line with traditional energy generation.

Solar energy

"No one can doubt the continued explosive growth in the industry," DuPont spokesman Dan Turner said.

Demand for Tedlar, a polyvinyl fluoride film that backs photovoltaic solar cells to protect them from moisture, and for Solamet, a paste used to build solar panels, continues to increase, the company said.

"Materials for photovoltaic applications are a critical success factor for sustainable growth," said David Miller, president of DuPont's electronics and communications division.

Shares of Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont fell 13 cents to $44.70 in morning trading. The stock has traded between $30.06 and $45 in the past 52 weeks.