Japan's solar shipments fall 13% in Q1, reports JPEA

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Solar panel shipments in Japan were down 13% in the first quarter (Q1) of the year compared to the same period in 2014, while shipments were 39% below Q4 2014 levels, reveals data published this week by the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA).

The JPEA data shows that 1,737 MW of solar panels were shipped in Q1 (which in Japan covers the period April 1 to June 30), with down from 2,709 MW in Q4 2014 as the previous pace of Japan’s solar installations abated after nearly three years of unimpeded growth.

The second quarter of the year saw 1,612 MW of solar modules shipped domestically, with the remaining 125.4 MW going to solar markets outside of Japan. The majority of shipped modules – 1,199 MW – went to non-residential installations across Japan.

The falls this year are the first declines in shipment volumes since the third quarter of 2012, JPEA confirmed and follow a reduction on April 1 of the country’s famously generous feed-in tariff (FIT).

Data was collected by JPEA from 39 solar companies registered in Japan, including Solar Frontier, Sharp and Kyocera.