With the new Sharp Energy Solution Europe Division, centered in Hamburg, Sharp Solar has tightened its grip on the solar business in Europe. The new structure aims to fortify the European PV market and to work on building future markets. Operating as a separate division of Sharp Electronics Europe since October 2008, The Sharp Energy Solution Europe (SESE) has been responsible for the pan-European solar business and will now be led under the new operating title by Hiroshi Sasaoka as President, with Peter Thiele as Executive VP.
“This restructuring demonstrates how important the European solar market is to us. The new, pan-European structures will enable us to serve the entire European market still better and in a more targeted way”, says Peter Thiele, Executive Vice President Sharp Energy Solution Europe. During the 2007 fiscal year, Sharp’s European solar business generated €350 million in sales; one third of Sharp’s global solar sales. “Our future European solar business will mainly be focused on Germany, Spain, France and Greece. At the same time, we will build a new market in the eastern European countries in the medium term”, continued Thiele.
Sharp is scheduled to supply Europe with thin-film and crystalline PV modules and solidified this endeavor by launching a seconding production line at its Katsuragi factory in Japan in October. The production capacity of the facility for thin-film cells grew from 32 to 160MW. Further, the new thin-film modules from the company have an enhanced module efficiency of nine percent; these will mainly be supplied to the German and Mediterranean markets.
Sharp has also been manufacturing crystalline modules in Wrexham, Wales since 2004 in order to shorten its delivery channels and times. The Wales facility has a 220MW production capacity.
Sharp expects to commence production in 2010 of the world’s first gigawatt factory in Sakai, Japan. This factory will be an addition to the sites that it has in Europe, North America and Asia. Sharp hails itself to be the world’s largest PV manufacturer since it has produced solar cells with a capacity of more than two gigawatts.