Two of Taiwan's largest solar cell manufacturers plan to raise nearly $500m to increase production this year, according to local media reports.
The initiatives are part of a surge in production of solar cells in Taiwan's electronics manufacturing industry. Solar energy remains a niche product, but demand is growing at 20 to 50 per cent a year.
Taiwanese companies are now entering the market, and betting that rising oil prices will create huge demand for cheaper and more efficient next-generation solar cells.
The government has encouraged research and investment in solar energy with grants and regulatory assistance, and analysts predict that the country could eventually earn $7.5bn a year from the industry.
The sector generated about $220m from solar cells and auxiliary components last year, according to government statistics.
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