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Sharp will try to snap a larger share of a growing market

Sharp Corp. officials reported the company plans to increase production of thin-film silicon solar cells over the next year at a Sharp plant located in the Nara Prefecture, Japan.  The increased production is directly related to a global shortage of silicon, company officials said.  Sharp is currently the No. 1 maker of solar cells in the world.

According to reports, the thin-film cells only need 1/100 the total amount of silicon used for regular solar cells.  Solar cells traditionally convert light energy to electrical energy and have a number of uses in today's world -- often times used in locations where access to a power grid is limited or unavailable.

Even though the demand is up, Sharp first half profit is down 12.4 percent due to tighter supplies and rising costs of supplies used to make the solar cell technology.

Sharp remains the top dog of the solar cell market, but faces mounting pressure from China's Suntec Power Holdings and Germany's Q-Cells AG.  Some estimates claim the solar cell market is growing almost 30 percent per year, allowing for plenty of growth for the top players in the industry.

The company did not publicly state its total capital investment into solar cell development, but industry analysts estimate it could exceed a total of 87 milion USD.

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RE: nuclear
By StevoLincolnite on 11/4/2007 11:15:15 PM , Rating: -1
Read up about Chernobyl - Thats a nuclear power plant gone wrong, and nothing is ever fool proof.

RE: nuclear
By KristopherKubicki on 11/4/2007 11:26:09 PM , Rating: 5
Chernobyl, the worst nuclear powerplant disaster in history attributed to 56 deaths by the WHO (47 of which were cleanup workers), versus the 563 deaths per year attributed to the pollution from the coal powered plants in just Pittsburg.

While solar might be a good alternative for those who can afford it, it seems like maybe we're better off modifying the existing grid first.

RE: nuclear
By Gul Westfale on 11/5/2007 12:16:20 AM , Rating: 2
only 57? yes, bu those were the people that died immediately during and after the accidents. it's a bit more complicated than that:

RE: nuclear
By KristopherKubicki on 11/5/2007 12:41:34 AM , Rating: 4
Consider though a worst case scenario in one hand, versus condemning 23,000 Americans per year in the other.

Even if you take every victim of nuclear power production disaster in history, and I bet the number is still fewer than can directly be attributed to one coal facility in Northern Illinois.

If we can't justify the cost of switching these nuclear facilities to zero emission coal or nuclear, what makes anyone think we'll switch over to a grid that costs 15 times more than either option. Even with economies of scale on these solar panels, you still have to figure areas like Northern Illinois still need non-renewable sources of energy due to the lack of sunlight, wind, hydro, etc.

RE: nuclear
By StevoLincolnite on 11/5/2007 6:34:46 AM , Rating: 2
I would rather it not happen in the first place.
Our Town in South Australia has a large wind farm, and is one of the windiest places on earth.
Even if there was a very slight breeze, the wind turbines would still turn. - Its usually not a lack of wind that stops wind turbines, its usually too much wind, and they have to gear them down or in a bad situation (Which happens frequently here) Shut them off completely, and tie a Wind Turbine Blade down in order to keep it shut off.

Australia doesn't have any Nuclear Power plants, You are right about the coal vs Nuclear argument, but Nuclear Disasters occur allot longer and is -more- devastating than Coal, It can take generations for a Nuclear Disaster to recover, and people and the environment from the Chernobyl incident are still paying for it.

I think, Wind+Solar+Clean Coal or Maybe even a Gas might be a better alternative - Or using the earths heat as another Source. (Forgot what its called exactly, mental blank).

Or make some big Gigantic Battery's to store energy, during Off-Peak times in order to stop wasted energy production perhaps?

Personally I am against Conventional Coal and Nuclear power generation.

RE: nuclear
By lumbergeek on 11/5/2007 11:53:48 AM , Rating: 2
Filling in the blank, you're talking about Geo-Thermal energy. I for one am a strong proponent of it. Especially in areas where the earth's crust is thinner, water injection with a steam output driving turbines seems like a good solution. Of course, one has to watch for such things as seismic shifts cutting injection shafts, but surely if we can build a laboratory in space, we can drill a big hole!

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