危 wēi danger
Japanese firm Sharp has single-handedly made a quarter of all the solar cells ever produced. As the market has matured new entrants from China and Taiwan have eroded its share, more recently the global slump has created excess capacity in the solar indusry and prices have dropped by 40% this year.
机 jī opportunity
In the face of this softening demand, Sharp has decided to move into electricity generation. It is presently in dialogue with Enel, Italy’s biggest electricity producer, to take a stake in a jointly developed solar plant. This forward integration creates demand, enables Sharp to maintain economies of scale and offers an alternative revenue stream.
- Integrating forward to build demand and diversify revenue sources