Kyocera mulls move into power supply sector

Japanese electricals corporation Kyocera – which manufactures solar panels – is considering following solar rival Suntech Power Japan Corp’s lead by registering as a power producer in its domestic market.

Bloomberg has reported comments made last week by Kyocera president Goro Yamaguchi indicating the Kyoto-based electricals giant is considering whether to make the move as Japan prepares for the opening up of its power market in two years’ time, a development which will allow households to choose their energy supplier.

Potentially of more interest, however, was Yamaguchi’s reported observation that ‘the Japanese solar market will be saturated in several years’, curiously worded but another indication that the gold rush by solar players to secure a slice of the world’s most generous FIT payment could be coming to an end.

Bloomberg reported Yamaguchi announced, at a press conference on Wednesday, Kyocera expects to ship 1.4 GW of solar products to the end of March – up from 1.2 GW year on year – but is predicting a 9.6% fall in profits at the applied ceramics products division which contains its solar business, chiefly as a result of falling panel prices.