Sharp will soon expand its solar cell output by a factor of six, the Japanese electronics manufacturer announced yesterday.
The company claims that the move will make it the world's largest manufacturer of solar power generation products.
New production lines will start rolling at the company's solar cell facility in Southern Japan later this month.
After the expansion, Sharp's total annual production capacity of pholtovoltaic solar cells will be enough to generate 600 megawatts of power, up from 100 megawatts today.
Solar panels with 600 megawatts of generation capacity would be enough to provide power for a city with a population of almost half a million.
Although Sharp does not publicly release details of its income from solar products, analysts from Nomura Securities have said that the company's "other electronic parts" business, which includes solar cells, saw strong operating profit growth of 22 per cent in the first quarter of the Japanese financial year.
The same business unit went on to report a seven per cent rise in revenue in the most recent quarter, bringing its total quarterly revenue to $1.27bn.
"Photovoltaic systems are increasingly being used in Japan for industrial applications and are being installed on new residential construction in collaboration with home builders," Sharp announced.
"In Europe and the US, demand is expected to expand even further in the future, centred on industrial and commercial uses, thanks to the introduction of subsidies and implementation of policies mandating power buy-back programs by utilities."
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