Feature Article No.2: Kyocera Solar Power Generating Systems Contributing to the Planet

Solar power generating systems are drawing growing attention as the flag-bearer of clean energy solutions. Thirty-six years ago, Kyocera began research and development of solar power generating systems with a strong awareness of the future of humanity. Today, Kyocera solar power generating systems are being used in many parts of the world.
Contributing to the improvement of people's lives everywhere through the spread of solar power Fostering a "worthy cause" - R&D has continued for 36 years Solar power generating systems donated to 50 schools in developing countries
Kyocera holds No.1 share of solar power generating systems installed in elementary & junior high schools in Japan Supplying solar modules for large-scale solar power plants in Thailand, Spain, Italy
Fostering a "worthy cause" - R&D has continued for 36 years
When the 1st oil crisis occurred in 1973, many companies entered the solar energy business in search of energy alternatives to oil. Into the 1980s, the market had still not grown, although oil prices had stabilized. Solar technology incurred higher costs than oil and the outlook for profitability was believed to be poor. One after another, many companies thus withdrew from the solar energy business, and globally interest in solar energy also faded quite rapidly.

Kyocera, too, was feeling the strain of trying to sustain its solar energy business. However, Kyocera founder Kazuo Inamori, maintained his strong desire to "contribute to the happiness of people through the use of solar energy." Kyocera thus placed great value in this "worthy cause" over immediate profitability. Although the going was rough, we refused to let the flames of the business be estinquished, and persisted with research and development of solar power.

From that time, Kyocera began selling solar power generating systems for use in non-electrified regions of developing countries. We believed that rural electrification was the most direct means of using solar power to contribute to the happiness of people. In 1984, we established the Sakura Solar Center to develop systems mainly for use in developing countries. Kyocera received praise from many quarters, as a non-government related business that set up a facility for the promotion and spread of solar power. Then, in 1985, we donated a 10kW solar power generating system to a village in Gansu Province, China. The system provided light to the 131 households and 700 people in the village. In addition, Kyocera employees also began trekking to communities lacking infrastructure in deserts and mountain regions far from urban centers to set up solar power generating systems. Kyocera's solar power generating systems have brought the convenience of electricity into the lives of many people, as a power source for off-grid communities, hospitals and schools.

It is believed that more than 1.6 billion* people around the world are still living without electricity. Between a quarter and a third of the world's population do not enjoy the benefits of electric power. Recently, there have been calls for cooperation in bringing solar power and its benefits to non-electrified regions. Kyocera is proud to have been committed to this cause for the last 36 years.

* IEA World Energy Outlook 2004

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