Sharp, Panasonic, and Kyocera, the three leaders in Japan’s solar PV industry, have all reported sale decline in the financial results for the first half of fiscal year 2015 (April 2015~ March 2016). The sale declines were mainly resulted from the weakened Japanese market.
Sharp has combined its solar PV segment, LED segment and energy storage segment into the Energy Solution Segment in 2014. According to the financial result for 1H15, the sale was US$653 million, 44.9% lower than 1H14 and 1.2% below its forecast. The operational loss was US$21.5 million, compared to the operational income of US$24.8 million in the 1H14. Sharp Energy Solution revised its annual guidance down to US$1.48 billion, decreased 33.5% from FY2014.
Panasonic Eco Solutions Company’s revenue in 1H15 was US$6.3 billion, 2.2% decreased annually. Also, the revenue declined 27% from 1H14 to US$251 million. The company attributes the sale decline to the weak Japan PV sector.
Kyocera, another leader in the Japanese PV industry, saw a revenue decline as well. However, the sale decline was smaller than Sharp’s and Panasonic’s. The revenue of Kyocera’s Applied Ceramic Products Group, which covers the solar PV application business, was US$94 million, decreasing 8.9% from the first half of fiscal year 2014.
Market transition: Kyocera
Kyocera reports more than 1.2GW of module shipment in the first half of FY2015, a little higher than the shipment in 1H14. However, the module shipment in commercial-use segment declined because of, said Gorou Yamaguchi, Chairman of Kyocera, the reduction of FiT schemes and solar policies to be revised. Yamaguchi expects the commercial solar sector to be revitalized as soon as the new policies are published in the second half of fiscal year 2015.
It is notable that residential solar sector contributed a lot to Kyocera’s module shipment and revenue in the 1H15. Yamaguchi unveiled that the company is working on comprehensive solutions for residential customers. Products to be developed include solar- and battery-integrated “HEMS” solution – “Home Energy Management System.”
In addition, Kyocera is developing “Vehicle to Home (V2H)” system to combine portable energy storage systems or electric vehicles with solar installation solutions. For the fiscal year 2015, Kyocera aims to double its battery sale to 10,000 sets, said Yamaguchi.
Kyocera’s strategy reveals the importance of Japan’s residential solar market.