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Sanyo to Offer Solar Cells With Highest Efficiency

Sanyo Electric Co. will start offering a new solar battery with the world’s highest energy efficiency next year in an attempt to lure more customers.

The battery maker controlled by Panasonic Corp. will begin offering the product in Europe in February and later in Japan, Tetsuhiro Maeda, head of Sanyo’s solar panel operation, told reporters in Tokyo today. The new battery cell has a conversion efficiency of 21.6 percent, the highest rate among photovoltaic batteries available in the market, he said.

The Osaka-based battery maker aims to become one of the top three global suppliers of solar cells by 2016 and is investing 50 billion yen ($597 million) in its solar operations as part of a plan to boost profitability in the three years to March 2013. Sanyo aims to win a bigger share of the renewable energy market by offering panels that can produce more electricity from light and by releasing new models with lower prices, he said.

Sanyo rose 0.7 percent to 138 yen at the 3 p.m. close of trading in Tokyo.

Panasonic, which increased its stake in Sanyo in October, plans to develop next-generation solar panels with the smaller electronics maker and intends to invest about 100 billion yen in the business.

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