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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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