SAN JOSE, Calif., July 24 (UPI) -- San Jose, Calif.-based SunPower Corp.'s Q2 earnings were $54.7 million, up 30 percent from Q1 and 233 percent from the second quarter of 2005, the company said.
"Our operating results were significantly ahead of our announced objectives," the company's chief executive officer, Tom Werner, was quoted as saying by the Solarbuzz journal.
"The investment we made in the first quarter to move to thinner wafers, improving our silicon utilization, paid off in the second quarter," Werner said.
The main obstacle keeping solar energy from widespread use is cost -- the silicon required to create the chemical reaction that turns sunlight into electricity is expensive and rare. As a result, solar companies around the world are looking to alternative materials; cheaper production methods; and higher-efficiency wafers.
"We are now producing cells at under eight grams of polysilicon per watt," Werner said.
Last week, the company announced its production capacity would increase to 300 megawatts with the acquisition of a second plant in the Philippines.