The US-based company Recurrent Energy is owned by Sharp Corporation in Japan. Sharp is now looking to sell the solar energy developer. “Sharp is considering various options for Recurrent including sale of the company, but nothing has been decided at this point,” a spokesperson for Sharp said. It was reported in 2012 that Sharp was going to sell Recurrent, but it was not. So, it might turn out that nothing transpires this time as well.
Recurrent installed a little over 300 MW of photovoltaic solar power in 2013 and has over four gigawatts under development. About $400 million in Recurrent projects were purchased by Google and KKR & Co. this year.
Sharps’ Japan-based energy unit experienced a 97% drop in profits for the first fiscal quarter, due to a decrease in residential solar sales drop in Japan. When Sharp acquired Recurrent in 2010, it was reported that the energy developer had about 2 GW of projects in development. Today, it has about twice that in development, so it isn’t entirely clear why Sharp might want to sell the company. Bank of Nova Scotia has been retained by Sharp to help with a sale.
The CEO of Recurrent, Arno Harris, has a blog and he didn’t mention any potential sale. It isn’t that common for a CEO to have a personal blog and share so much information openly.
Harris has been interested in clean technology for a long time and shared how this interest was sparked in a blog post recently, “Perhaps the most interesting item on the agenda will be Amory Lovins moderating a discussion with Paul Caudill of NV Energy and Patti Wagner of Sempra. I credit one of Amory’s early books, Small is Profitable, as an inspiration for why I made a career transition from high tech to solar. Amory is often seen as a radical advocate for change in the electric power industry. Seeing him on stage with two utility CEOs would have been almost impossible to imagine a few years ago—perhaps it’s a reflection of the intense pressures that are causing utilities to embrace change as a means of staying relevant in our energy future.”
That Recurrent has such a dedicated CEO seems to suggest the company is not in any danger, though sometimes there is speculation that when a company is put for sale there must be some.
The Sharp Corporation was named after a mechanical pencil created in 1915. Later, the company designed the first radio sets in Japan. TV sets and calculators were to follow. The world’s first camera was also created by Sharp, in 1997. Consumer electronics are what the company is known for such as LCD panels, video projects, microwave ovens, mobile phones and printers. The company’s fairly recent foray into solar power might have been too much out its comfort zone or area of expertise. Diversifying too much can cause a huge corporation to lose focus on its strengths and core products.
Image Credit: Miyuki Meinaka, CC BY-SA 3.0