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Japan's Mitsubishi Electric plans major solar cell investment

Mar 19, 2008 - Thomson Financial

Japan's Mitsubishi Electric Corp said Wednesday it planned to invest 7 billion yen to boost production of solar cells as global demand rises on high oil costs and environmental awareness.

Mitsubishi Electric is the latest Japanese company to see a promising future for solar or photovoltaic cells, which convert energy from the sun into electricity.

The company said with the investment, it will boost production at two domestic factories, aiming to hike capacity from 150 megawatts last year to 500 megawatts by the 2013 financial year.

The company said it decided on the investment to meet "increasingly active market demand."

The solar cell market "has been growing rapidly, reflecting concerns about increasing prices of petroleum and other materials, as well as increased environmental awareness," the company said in a statement.

Japan's Sharp Corp said late last year that it would invest 22 billion yen on a 10-fold expansion of production of thin-film solar cells, which it said could be made more quickly and cheaply than conventional solar cells.

Other firms such as Sanyo are also investing in solar power as they seek to tap growing interest in alternative energy.

(1 US dollar = 99.59 yen)


Updated: 2003/07/28