Report: Sharp readying thin-film solar ramp for early 2008

October 19, 2007 – Sharp Corp. aims to start mass production of thin-film solar cells amounting to 200MW/year as early as spring 2008, in a bid to stay at the top of the market leaders, according to the Nikkei daily.

The new output will come from a new 10B yen (US ~$86M) line at the company’s facility in Nara Prefecture. Sharp also plans to build a new site in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, to produce thin-film cells in fiscal 2009.

The paper notes that the new thin-film cells require just 1/100 the amount of silicon needed for conventional solar cells, directly targeting cost concerns — solar cell shipments rose 40% in 2006 to 2500MW, and silicon prices have surged 20% this year.


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