Japan PV shipments soared in FY13

Foreign-made solar panels accounted for approximately 4.8GW of the 8.63GW of PV kit shipped in Japan in the fiscal year to 31 March, according to recently released industry data.

A number of Japanese solar manufacturers, including Panasonic, produce PV modules outside of Japan.

But the figures — published this week by the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA) — suggest that non-Japanese companies have been making significant progress in cracking the country’s solar market, where trusted, domestic brands traditionally reign supreme.

Made-in-Japan solar panels accounted for roughly 3.7GW of the domestic total in fiscal 2013, the JPEA said.

Residential PV projects accounted for just 27.7% of domestic orders in the year to 31 March, from roughly 49% a year earlier.

The JPEA surveyed 44 PV suppliers, including Panasonic, Sharp and Solar Frontier, as well as the Japanese units of foreign players such as Hanwha Q Cells, REC Solar, Suntech, Hareon and Upsolar.