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Japan's Solar PV Market Estimated to Be $19.6 Bln in 2013

2014/06/25 19:18
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Keisuke Murakami, director, New and Renewable Energy Division, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), said, "The (Japanese) market for solar power generation will grow to about ¥2 trillion (approx US$19.6 billion) in 2013."

This comment was made in a lecture that he delivered at "Meeting to Report Results of PV Power Generation Research 2014," which was organized by Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), June 24, 2014.

At a subcommittee meeting that METI organized June 17, 2014, it announced that the scale of the market for solar power generation reached about ¥1 trillion in 2012, creating about 60,000 jobs. While the total capacity of solar panels shipped in fiscal 2012 was about 4GW, that of solar panels shipped in fiscal 2013 was about 9GW, increasing the market scale to about ¥2 trillion.

"The one trillion yen of the solar power generation market in fiscal 2012 is accounted for by about ¥400 billion of solar panels, about ¥300 billion of land forming/construction costs, about ¥200 billion of cost of equipment such as PV inverters, mounting systems and connecting boxes and about ¥100 billion of other costs," Murakami said. "Of the ¥400 billion of solar panels, about ¥300 billion of panels are domestic brands. Therefore, about ¥900 billion of the one trillion yen circulated in Japan."

He stressed that the solar power generation market has a large ripple effect on local economies and domestic industries.

Commenting on the fact that the total capacity of certified facilities exceeded 68GW at the end of March 2014, Murakami said, "Before the closing date of application in February, many considered that the tariff for fiscal 2014 (under the feed-in tariff scheme) would be much lower, triggering a rush of last-minute applications. The total capacity of certified facilities is higher than expected. And if all of them started operations, the ratio of the amount of solar electricity to the amount of electricity generated in Japan would be 18-19%, which is close to the 20% goal of the energy basic plan."

"The capacity of solar power generation facilities that can be built in Japan is said to be up to 7-9GW per year," he said. "It is possible that this capacity of solar power generation facilities will continue to be introduced in Japan for the time being."