Japanese consumer electronics giants Toshiba and Sharp are in talks on a possible tie-up in the solar power generation field, the companies admitted last week. “It is true that we are holding talks on the solar cell business with other companies, including Toshiba,” Sharp Corp. spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama said, declining to give further details.
Sharp wants to enhance its solar business further, with its solar cell revenue expected to reach 170 billion yen (1.7 billion dollars) globally in the year to March 31, up 12 percent from last year, Nakayama said.
Toshiba, which announced its full entry into solar power in January, said the company was also seeking a supply source of solar or photovoltaic cell panels that convert sunlight into electricity. “We are mulling where to procure panels as we do not make them… Sharp is one of the companies under our consideration,” Toshiba spokeswoman Hiroko Mochida said, adding that nothing concrete had been decided yet.
Toshiba, which is strong on building systems that distribute generated power, aims to achieve annual sales of 200 billion yen by 2016 in the photovoltaic systems business.
The mass-circulation Japanese newspaper Asahi Shumbun reported that Sharp would provide panels to Toshiba, which would in turn supply distribution systems to Sharp. Another daily, the Sankei Shimbun, said an economic stimulus package the government and ruling party are expected to draw up in April would include two trillion yen in spending to mount solar panels on public buildings.