Kyocera to hit 1.2 GW panel shipments by end of fiscal year

Japan’s Kyocera Corp. is likely to surpass 1.2 GW of global solar panel shipments by April 1 next year, marking the best 12 months in the division’s history as it expands its footprint into the growing U.S. market.

With strong domestic growth in the Japanese large-scale sector, and further expansion into other Asian markets, Kyocera is on course for a record-breaking 12 months. And according to the head of the company’s solar energy business group, Toshihide Koyano, next fiscal year could be even stronger.

"The ratio of domestic sales will drop, while the volume is expected to remain the same, so the total is expected to exceed 1.2 GW," he told Bloomberg.

Japan shipments for large-scale projects will hold steady for the next few years, Koyano added, which is partly why Kyocera has begun pushing its solar+storage systems for the Japanese residential sector. Japan’s government recently revised its FIT and has outlined a "net zero energy" target for new homes by 2020. These policy changes are set to incentivize further investment in storage systems, the company believes, particularly as home builders will soon begin incorporating storage options into new buildings from next spring.

With solar shipments in Japan down each quarter in 2015 compared to the year previous, Kyocera gas begun targeting the emerging markets of Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar, with the commercial-scale sector the main focus for expansion.

The company also announced at the weekend that it plans to expand the number of solar recharging stations in Japan as the growth of electric vehicle adoption continues. Kyocera has supplied two more solar-powered recharging stations in Kyotango City, Kyoto Prefecture, which meet the needs of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Japan’s government wants to increase the number of electric and hybrid vehicles on its roads by 2020 by around 15-20%, and is promoting the expansion of electric charging stations nationwide. Kyocera’s two new solar power charging stations boast a 3.2 kW array, a 30 kW Nichicon quick charger, and a 7.2 kW Nichicon battery storage system.