Sharp Transiting into Integrated Smart Power Solution Provider

According to a TrendForce photovoltaic analyst’s understanding, financially struggling Sharp might not be withdrawing from the solar business after all.

Last week a Nikkei report claimed Sharp would be shutting down LED factories as part of its electronic component business restructure plan, and was quitting the money-losing solar business. But Sharp has refuted these claims in a Reuters report today, stating it has no plans of exiting the solar business or LED residential lighting business.

A Sharp solar panel displayed at PV Expo 2015. (EnergyTrend)

So what is Sharp’s grand strategy?

“Sharp is actually transiting into an integrated smart energy solutions provider,” said Angus Kao, Analyst, of EnergyTrend, the solar and battery division of Taipei-based market research company Trendforce. “At this stage, specifically for the residential sector.”

There have been telltale signs that Sharp is in the process of transiting its business model from a solar module and component maker into an integrated smart energy solutions provider, observed Kao.

The first obvious hint was the company renamed its “Solar System Solutions Division” to “Energy System Solutions Division”, said Kao. Another indicator was the company featured smart home energy solutions at PV Expo 2015, which ran from February 25 to 27 at Tokyo Big Sight in Japan. “This is a significant move from the company’s past displays at the show, which mostly featured solar panels and module products,” said Kao.

In the future, Sharp will be focused on energy storage and lithium-battery businesses, he added.

A Sharp LED downlight. (Photo Credit: Sharp)

LED luminaires will continue to play an integral part in the company’s new smart energy management solutions, and falls under the company’s Energy Solutions umbrella. Based on the company website info, its Energy Solutions will consist of three major pillars: solar modules for energy production, mega batteries for energy storage and LED luminaires for energy saving. The company will continue to use its own brand of LED luminaires for energy management solutions, suggesting it might not be closing down factories as previous media reports noted.

(Author: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

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