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Developing a Value Chain in the Solar Energy Field
In April 2009, we established the Solar Business Department to pursue solar business on a coordinated corporate-wide basis. With the intention of integrating our business activity across the entire solar power value chain, we will fully dedicate ourselves to the successful deployment of solar energy on a global basis.
Our Stance on the Solar Energy Business
Renewable energies are our most critical resource to meet growing worldwide energy demand in a sustainable way while controlling global warming.
Renewable energies include wind power, solar energy, geothermal, biomass and others. Among these, solar power generation has become increasingly economically viable thanks to recent dramatic technical innovation in energy conversion efficiency, increased production efficiencies and policy support measures implemented in various countries around the world.
Leveraging the functions of a sogo shosha, ITOCHU Corporation is working to expand its businesses related to solar power generation by participating in all facets of solar power generation and developing a value chain from upstream to downstream, thus making a significant contribution to society through the spread and promotion of eco-friendly solar power generation.
Pursuing the Solar Energy Business on a Corporate-wide Basis
The solar energy business is complex, involving a large number of elements such as the production and supply of raw materials, solar cell and module production, project development, financing and installation, and myriad interrelated policy issues.
Therefore, we determined that further intensification and promotion of this business requires efforts on a corporate-wide, cross-sectional scale, and established the “Solar Business Department,” — a new organization under direct control of the Headquarters — in April 2009. This organization will bundle our solar energyrelated businesses, which had been handled in a distributed manner at each Division Company, to build a comprehensive value chain.
Pursuing the Solar Energy Business with a Value Chain
To date, ITOCHU Corporation has made investments in NorSun AS, a company in the mid-stream position manufacturing ingots and wafers for solar cells, and in a number of system integrators (below called “SI”)(*) which are positioned downstream and design, install and sell solar systems for residential (small-size), commercial and government (mid-size) and solar park (large size) applications.
In each of these business areas, we dispatched our staff or managers to get deeply involved in the management and work to expand business while leveraging ITOCHU's worldwide network to provide the necessary functions such as the procurement of major materials and equipment, logistics, product sales support, financing or support for a global roll-out of sites.
In addition to these efforts, we are considering involvement in the production of polysilicon, which is a raw material for solar cells, establishing new sales offices for SI we are already involved with, tying up with new SIs, and establishing a company which owns solar power generation assets.
Striving to complete the value chain at an early point of time to build a stable business environment, we will continue to work for the expansion of the solar energy business by exerting the comprehensive capabilities of the ITOCHU Group.
- * System integrators: collective term referring to companies who design, sell and install solar power generation systems combining solar modules and accessory (balance of system) components.
Value Chain of the Solar Energy Business that ITOCHU Corporation is Involved in
Spreading and promoting eco-friendly solar energy
Deployment of renewable energies is a critical path to reduce global warming and leave a beautiful earth for the next generation. Solar power generation is a particularly promising energy thanks to its use of virtually unlimited photovoltaic energy radiated from the sun to the earth, and the fact that it can be installed anywhere from ordinary homes up to large-scale facilities. The “Solar Business Department,” which was established on April 1, 2009, promotes businesses in various areas of the value chain, upstream to downstream, to contribute to the expansion of solar energy, thus contributing to society.