Panasonic to Invest $1B in Cleantech by 2012

Dec 4 2009 | 10:24am ET

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic will invest $1 billion by 2012 into clean technologies as it shifts it focus to equipping homes and commercial buildings with solar power and energy-saving products.

Fumio OhtsuboFumio OhtsuboPanasonic President Fumio Ohtsubo told Bloomberg News that his company will both develop its own products and leverage technologies acquired through its $4.6 billion purchase – still in progress – of the solar cell and battery maker Sanyo Electric.

“We want to change our fighting ring from our current categories to a different field…Our products in consumer electronics and our appliances will benefit from the new core business,” Ohtsubo told Bloomberg.

Ohtsubo said Panasonic will develop an energy-monitoring system for homes, displaying energy consumption data from appliances on television sets.

The Sanyo deal will give Panasonic a strong foothold in cleantech – particularly lithium-ion batteries and solar cells (which Sanyo has been making for over 30 years). Moreover, Panasonic has launched its own lithium-ion battery technology for use as energy storage with rooftop solar panels.

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