Sharp expands PV business

The share of the solar business within the overall corporation thus amounted to 7.8 percent – a value “which should continue to increase on the long term”, it said. Peter Thiele, executive vice president of Sharp Energy Solution Europe (SESE) added: “We are investing heavily in this future technology and continue to see great potential worldwide as well as for Europe in particular. Sharp is currently expanding its production in Europe to be able to serve this important market as best as possible also in the future.”

As early as next February, the technology company said it intends to double its production capacity for crystalline solar modules in Wrexham, Wales (UK), from 250 megawatts (MW) at present to 500 MW. Sharp added that it will be launching thin film production in Italy with an initial capacity of 160 MW in a joint venture with Enel and STMicroelectronics. The company has been producing thin film modules at the “world’s first gigawatt thin-film factory” in Sakai, Japan since March. Production capacity amounts to 160 MW, it said, and can be expanded to 1,000 MW per year.

In spite of changes to feed-in tariff conditions in important European markets, Sharp said it anticipates an increase in sales for the coming years. “It’s only a question of time as to when PV will win out and play a dominant role in power generation,” commented Thiele. “Demand for solar solutions will also continue to increase. But it does depend on the outstanding quality and highest standards in production and products more than ever. Through massive investments, we are capable of making advances not only in efficient production, but the development of state-of-the-art technology as well, in contrast to many competitors. This secures us important competitive advantages on the long term as well.”