Toshiba,the leading Japanese Electronics Producer is diversifying into the Green Industry like its counterparts in the rest of the world.Samsung,NEC,Panasonic,LG,GE and Siemens have all been strongly investing in the Green Industry due to its strong growth prospects.Each Conglomerate is jockeying for an advantageous position in the various sub-sectors of this still nascent Industry .Toshiba which trails only Areva in Nuclear Energy Equipment Marketshare is also investing in the Battery Sector.Note there are a number of leading Japanese companies with strong technological and manufacturing strengths in Batteries with Panasonic being the No.1 Player.NEC and Sony are also vying for a piece of the pie along with smaller players like GS Yuasa.
Toshiba signs JV with Mitsubishi
Toshiba had earlier announced it entry into the Battery sector winning a deal to supply Lithium Batteries for Honda’s Motorcycles.With the new JV with Mitsubishi Motors to manufacture batteries in Japan,it has further boosted its capability in the sector.Note Japanese companies usually partner with each other to combine their technological capabilities.This trend can be seen in almost all Technology Sectors like Semiconductors,Electronics and Smartphones.The competition in the Battery sector is already intense and Toshiba’s entry will only serve to increase it.
Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp. said Friday it’s jumping into the battery business for electric vehicles in a development deal with Mitsubishi Motors Corp.It’s the first EV battery deal with a major automaker for Toshiba, which already makes batteries for laptops and cell phones, said company spokesman Ken Shinjo. Production will start sometime next year, in a new facility in Niigata, northern Japan, according to Toshiba.The plant’s production capacity is expected to grow to a million cells — the unit for counting rechargeable batteries — a month by March 2012, said Shinjo. Batteries may also be used for power storage in ecological “smart grids.”Toshiba’s Japanese rival Panasonic Corp. supplies batteries for Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s top automaker, while NEC Corp. does it for Nissan Motor Co. Sanyo Electric Co., a Panasonic subsidiary, has deals with Volkswagen AG, Honda Motor Co. and Toyota.
Itochu enters Green Industry through Wind Energy and Lithium Partnerships
Itochu which is one of the world’s biggest trading companies has also started making strategic investments into Green Industry like its more famous Japanese cousins.Itochu had earlier signed a deal with global Wind Energy leader General Electric to jointly develop a wind farm in Oklahoma.Though this investment is relatively small,there is strong potential for a number of wind project developments in the future.Itochu is further diversifying by buying a 20% stake in a US start-up which will extract Lithium from Waste-water used in Geothermal Energy. Lithium is supposed to be the “Oil of the Future” with its usage expected to increase exponentially.Lithium has the best chemistry in terms of energy density and weight amongst different battery chemistries.Though its price is currently quite high,it is expected to fall in the future makings its usage ubiquitous in Electric Vehicles . While there is currently no shortage,prices of Lithium are expected to increase sharply in the future as it finds more uses in Grid Storage etc.
General Electric and Japanese trading house Itochu Corp have agreed to cooperate on investment in large wind and other renewable energy projects, Itochu said, boosting Itochu’s share price by nearly 5 percent.GE, the largest U.S. conglomerate and a top maker of wind power generators, and Itochu will jointly take a majority stake in a 30 billion yen ($326 million) wind power project in Oklahoma, Itochu said.The two firms also plan to cooperate in another large wind energy project being planned in the United States, Itochu said.
Japanese trading house Itochu Corp is taking part in a U.S. project to extract lithium from wastewater used in geothermal power generation in California, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday.Itochu has taken a roughly 20 percent stake in Simbol Mining Corp, spun off from a research institute under the U.S. Department of Energy, for what is believed to be several billions of yen in return for exclusive sales rights in Asia, excepting India, the Nikkei added.