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Photovoltaics – A great tradition of innovation

Ever Sharp Pencil
Sharp was already fascinated by the idea of generating power from sunlight more than 50 years ago. For space exploration, an independent and powerful source of energy was required, and back in 1976 the first satellite powered with solar cells from Sharp orbited the Earth. We also have Sharp to thank, among others, for introducing solar technology to our everyday lives. Take, for example, the company’s launch of the first solar-powered pocket calculator in 1980. It was a technological milestone back then, but is something we take for granted today. Sharp is currently among the leading manufacturers of solar cells and modules in the world, and covers the entire photovoltaic market in Europe. Sharp made history in 1915 by inventing the mechanical pencil.


The so-called “Ever- Sharp Pencil”, invented by company founder Tokuji Hayakawa, was to give the company its name, and still shapes Sharp’s philosophy even today: ‘We make products that others want to imitate.’ The first radio and television in Japan were manufactured by Sharp. In 1973, Sharp ushered in the LCD age with the launch of the world’s first calculator with a liquid crystal display. Sharp’s special place in the field of solar cells and LCD televisions stem from the decades of research, development and production experience.