Sharp Corp, Japan’s largest producer of solar panels, announced on Wednesday it will invest 15 billion yen (£115m) in producing advanced solar cells, to continue to maintain its high market share.

Sharp are set to add an annual production capacity of 200 megawatts in single crystalline silicon solar at its factory in Japan. Production of the cells and modules have been said to start by March.

According to Sharp, the new solar cells will have an energy efficiency of 17%, up from about 14% for the company’s similar models. The new line of solar cells will make high-output panels that will convert sunlight more efficiently than conventional cells. Tetsuo Onishi, head of the renewable energy business, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the company plans to improve the rate to 20% in future. He added Sharp’s overall production capacity of solar cells will increase from 870 megawatts to 1,230 megawatts by the end of 2011.

Sharp’s PV technology is reliable and cost effective which makes it the best selling in the UK. EvoEnergy currently stock three PV Sharp panels which are the 180W, 185W and 235W NU series.