Mitsubishi Aims to Boost Solar PV Production

Mitsubishi Electric, which have been increasingly broadening their business into the realm of renewable energy through both their solar and wind power division, are now planning on giving their solar output a significant boost.

Tokyo, Japan – December 17, 2003 [] The company announced it will expand annual production capacity of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules at the Nakatsugawa (Iida factory, Nagano Prefecture) and Kyoto works (Kyoto Prefecture) from 50MW to 90MW by July 2004. Mitsubishi Electric expects global sales of solar PV to increase, and aims to establish a production system with an annual capacity of 130 MW in the near future. With this goal in mind, 3.3 billion (US$30.7 million) yen is to be invested in new equipment. The company expects their projected annual production capacity of PV cells and modules to reflect as follows: Year: 2000 ———15 MW 2001 ——– 25 MW 2003/1—— 35 MW (target) 2003/9 —— 50 MW (target) 2004/7 —— 90 MW 2005 ——– 130 MW The company cited rapid growth in the worldwide market a significant development prompting their new goals for production. Sales are expected to carry on increasing through 2004 as international activities aimed at reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions continue to raise environmental awareness around the globe. Mitsubishi said that according to research from PV News magazine, the total worldwide PV production in 2002 amounted to approximately 560 MW, up 43 percent from 2001. Japan is a major contributor, accounting for approximately 251 MW of this total. Mitsubishi Electric’s PV sales during 2003 have been more than double those of 2002, thanks to the increasing popularity of the “fully electrified house” and government subsidies in the domestic market, added to the greater demand in the overseas market. Having started the their residential PV system business in 1996, Mitsubishi Electric then opened a PV facility (Nakatsugawa works) at the Iida factory (Nagano Prefecture) in 1998, where production of cells and modules began. A lead-free solder module production line, the first in Japan, was opened at the Kyoto works in January 2003, said the company. Total annual production capacity was increased to 35 MW in January 2003, and to 50 MW in September 2003. In order to meet the growing market demand, Mitsubishi Electric plans to enlarge the Nakatsugawa works and increase the capacity of the Kyoto works cell and module lines by investing approximately 3.3 billion-yen (. As a result of this investment, annual production capacity will rise from 50MW to 90MW by July 2004. A target of 130MW has been set for 2005. Mitsubishi Electric intends to strengthen the PV system business position as a major component of the “fully electrified house,” and aims to increase the popularity of PV systems by developing more and more advanced products such as the lead-free solder modules.
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