Sharp’s European PV module manufacturing operations, based in Wrexham, UK are running at near full nameplate capacity of 400MW, due to demand across Europe in the residential market, according to the company.
Compared to only a year ago the announcement is in stark contrast to Sharp’s decision to consolidate its European sales and marketing operations from Germany to London, UK and local news reports that the Wrexham plant was laying off workers due to weak demand and being uncompetitive with Chinese competitors.
Peter Thiele, executive vice president at Sharp Energy Solutions Europe said: “We see continuous demand for photovoltaic modules in Europe. Our European factory, located in Wales, is operating at near maximum capacity, also supporting demand from Japan. The focus in Europe lies on the home installation market, with valuable support for installers in the residential segment. Our position as a global electronics company helped us to balance the impact of the PV market dynamics. As a result, our business has been less affected by recent market volatility compared to competitors.”
The recent module supply disruptions caused by the EU anti-dumping investigation may also have had a positive impact on Sharp’s European operations.
According to Thiele, Sharp Energy Solutions Europe is planning to introduce a range of new complementary products in Europe, including LED lighting, storage and entire energy solution concepts that are planned to be rolled out over the next three years.
The announcement that its Wrexham plant is running at near full capacity is the first public statement the European operation of the company has announced in over 12 months.