Japan module shipments soar

Deliveries of PV cells and modules within Japan soared to about 1.7GW in the April-June 2013 period, up from 445MW in the same quarter of 2012, the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA) said.

Foreign-made PV modules accounted for the bulk of deliveries in the country at roughly 1.1GW, up from less than 132MW a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Japan’s exports of PV kit fell to just 35MW, from 168MW in the 2012 equivalent period.

The figures underscore how Japan’s generous feed-in tariff (FIT) has driven the rapid development of the nation’s solar industry over the past year.

Japanese PV panel makers are reaping the benefits of the rapid growth of residential and utility-scale solar in Japan.

Last month, electronics giant Sharp raised its full-year PV shipment forecast from 1.6GW to 1.8GW, in response to strong domestic demand in the first quarter.

It also announced plans to expand its residential module lineup, in line with efforts by rival Panasonic to provide panels specifically suited to the unique shapes and sizes of standard Japanese rooftops.