Sharp Withdraws From Solar Power Generation Biz in Europe

2014/07/15 18:36
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Sharp Corp announced July 11, 2014, that it will withdraw from the solar power generation business in Europe and reform the structure of its solar power-related businesses in the region.

The company plans to improve its profitability by strengthening EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) services for mega (large-scale) solar power plants while continuing to produce and sell thin-film solar cells through a joint venture.

In 2010, Sharp established the joint venture, 3Sun Srl, to manufacture thin film solar cells with Enel Green Power (EGP) SpA, etc and singed a long-term contract to purchase some of its products. However, partly because of a decline in the market for crystalline silicon solar cells, Sharp concluded that it is not possible to secure profitability even if it purchases thin-film solar cells. Therefore, it will transfer the right to purchase the cells to EGP on the condition that Sharp will pay a price to EGP.

Specifically, EGP will accept the products that were supposed to be purchased by Sharp. Sharp will continue to invest in 3Sun and be involved in the production business.

On the other hand, Sharp established ESSE (Enel Green Power & Sharp Solar Energy Srl), a joint venture that develops and runs solar power plants to sell electricity in Europe, with EGP in the past. The Sharp group's share in the joint venture is 50%, and the share will be transferred to EGP as the price to be paid to EGP.

Accordingly, Sharp will post an extraordinary loss of ¥14.382 billion (approx US$142 million) for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 ending in March 31, 2015 (consolidated accounts), withdrawing from the solar power generation business in Europe.