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Mitsubishi expands solar-cell production

The company plans to more than double its output by 2006.

Mitsubishi Electric will significantly increase production of photovoltaic solar cells at its plant in Nakatsugawa, Japan, because of rising demand, the company said. Mitsubishi will increase annual output, which is measured by the amount of energy the solar cells can produce at a given moment in time, from 90 megawatts to 135 megawatts by April 2005. Production will rise to 230 megawatts by 2006, the company said.

Rising oil prices and improved technology is causing a resurgence of interest in solar energy among established companies, start-ups and investors. Japan and several U.S. states have established tax incentives to encourage consumers to adopt solar technology. Total production of photovoltaic solar cells worldwide came to 742 megawatts in 2003.