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Foreign-made PV Panels Account for Over Half of Panel Shipment in Japan

2013/10/07 10:02
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Cleantech Institute
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Shipment of photovoltaic (PV) panels (PV cell modules) in Japan is rapidly growing due to the government's feed-in tariff policy, according to statistics on PV power generation systems in the Japanese market.

The ratio of panels manufactured outside Japan is increasing. According the statistics that Yano Research Institute Ltd, a Japan-based private research institute, announced Sept 24, 2013, the ratio of the panels that were manufactured by non-Japanese makers and shipped in Japan was 17% in fiscal 2012.

However, according to Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA), about 1,650,000kW of PV panels were shipped from April to June 2013 in Japan (a 270% increase on a year-over-year basis), and the ratio of the panels manufactured by non-Japanese makers was 28.8%.

This is the first time that JPEA has separated the shipment from Japanese makers and the shipment from non-Japanese makers in its statistics. Because the two sets of statistics were announced by different organizations, they cannot be easily compared. Still, it can be said that the ratio of panels manufactured by non-Japanese makers is rapidly increasing.

Furthermore, JPEA separated the panels that Japan-based companies manufactured and shipped in Japan from the panels that they manufactured (or asked another company to manufacture) outside Japan and shipped (under their brand names) in Japan. According to that data, the panels manufactured in Japan accounted for only 44% of all the panels that were manufactured by Japanese and non-Japanese makers and shipped in Japan during that period.

In other words, the ratio of the panels that were manufactured by Japanese and non-Japanese makers outside Japan was 56%. So, "pure made-in-Japan" panels account for less than half of the panels being shipped in Japan.