Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Japanese Thin Film Solar Coming on Fast (SANYO, SHARP)

From Semiconductor International:

Amid a shortage of silicon supplies, Sanyo Electric Co. (TSE:6764) intends to begin mass-producing thin-film solar cells by 2010, two years earlier than initially planned....

...To move up its production schedule, the consumer electronics maker will beef up its R&D efforts. By year's end, Sanyo will increase the number of researchers working at its cell center development facility in Gifu Prefecture from 30 to 50, and to 100 or so within a few years. Development costs are seen hitting 7.5 billion yen ($73US million) over the next three years, up 50 per cent from earlier plans....MORE

And From Renewable Energy World:

Land of Giants
...Sharp adds that the end of the 2009 financial year (March 2010) will see the start of operations at its new thin-film solar cell plant in Sakai City, Osaka prefecture in Japan, which will have an annual capacity of about 1 GW, the cost of generating solar power will be about half current levels in 2010. This, says Sharp, will be equivalent to around ¥23/kWh (US¢22/kWh), which is close to the current cost of domestic electricity....

...In addition, a full-scale expansion of thin-film solar cells is planned. Sharp is to increase its annual production capacity for thin-film solar cells at its Katsuragi plant from the current level of 15 MW to 160 MW by October 2008 with a ¥22 billion ($212 million) investment. Katsuragi is also the site of its crystalline cells, which currently has a manufacturing capacity of 710 MW. The facility will combine plants for LCDs, solar cells, and supporting industries, the company says. The plant, in Nara Prefecture, Japan, is expanding production ahead of the opening of the new thin-film solar cell plant in Sakai City....