Utility scale projects boosting Japan's domestic solar sector


Japan's domestic solar shipments have risen 14% year-on-year over the first quarter of the financial year, largely as a result of the country's growing utility scale sector.

According to data compiled by the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA), local solar shipments reached 1,882 MW in the three months up to June 30, representing a first quarter increase of 14% on last year, when shipments were 1,654 MW for the same period (In Japan, the first quarter of the year is calculated from the beginning of April).

JPEA revealed that 657 MW of solar modules shipped in Japan were for utility scale PV projects – up 45% on last year. Japan's rooftop sector still managed to ship a healthy 493 MW, but that figure was 14% below last year’s Q1 shipments. Overall shipments for non-residential projects reached 1.38 GW, of which 657 MW was used for utility-scale projects of 500 kW or more (as mentioned above). The remainder was plowed into Japan's commercial rooftop sector.

In the last fiscal year, from March 2013 to March 2014, Japan installed more than 7 GW of PV capacity.

JPEA's data was compiled from 39 leading solar companies, including Japan's Solar Frontier and Sharp Corp. The results were mildly surprising given that the general perceived lack of land space in the country led many industry experts to predict the rooftop sector to drive Japan's solar industry.

Indeed, just last week U.S. thin film giant First Solar announced how it was positioning itself for a long-term strategy in the country, developing 250 MW of PV projects covering both the rooftop and utility-scale sector.

In 2012, the Japanese government introduced lucrative incentives to drive the country’s rooftop solar sector in the wake of 2011's Fukushima nuclear disaster that prompted Japan’s leaders to turn their backs on nuclear power.

Meanwhile, Orix Corp. and Kyudenko Corp. have began a joint operation to develop an 8.2 MW solar power station at a former airport in southwest Japan.

Once complete, the PV plant will be Japan's first to be built on a former airport site. Makaruzaki airport was closed in March 2013 following mounting debts having been Japan’s first designated commuter airport when it opened in 1991.

Popular content

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: editors@pv-magazine.com.


Related content

Elsewhere on pv magazine...

Leave a Reply

Please be mindful of our community standards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.