PV installations grow dramatically in Japan

Japan installed more than 5.7 GW of solar capacity as part of the country’s feed-in (FIT) program from April 2013 through January 2014.

According to the latest report from Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE), part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the country installed 5,741 MW in the period. Large-scale PV systems made up 4,608 MW of that capacity, while residential PV installations accounted for 1,133 MW.

The level of growth in the PV installations built through the country’s FIT program rose dramatically from the previous seven-month period recorded by ANRE. From July 2012 through March 2013, Japan installed a total of 1,673 MW of PV capacity, including 969 MW of residential projects and 704 MW of large-scale systems.

As of January 2014, Japan had a cumulative installed PV capacity of 13,014 MW.

In March, the Japanese government approved new FIT levels for the new fiscal year, with rates paid to commercial generators (with installations of 10 kWh or more) cut from JPY 36 (US$0.35) to JPY 32 per kilowatt hours. Residential FIT rates fell from JPY 38 to JPY 37 per kilowatt hour, reflecting lower prices for solar panels.