Official reports from Sharp indicate the company is set to invest heavily in thin film silicon solar cells in the coming year. The production shall take place at Sharp's Nara Prefecture plant in Japan. Sharp currently stands as the world's largest solar panel manufacturer, but is not meeting the growing demand.
The new cells will require 1/100th of the silicon traditionally used in typical solar cells. The new cell type standard is in direct response to the limited global abundance of silicon. The market for solar chips continues to grow at around 30% per year, but so do costs for materials. As a result, Sharp has just posted financial losses for the current term. The new cells, it is hoped, shall be a more economically viable, whilst simultaneously being able to meet demand. [Dailytech]