Japan’s solar market keeps shrinking. Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA) has announced statistics to Japan’s second quarter of fiscal year 2016 (ended on September 30, 2016) and noted that the demand decline has squeezed domestic module shipments year by year. However, domestic demand to large-scale projects has significantly increased year-on-year.
Japan’s domestic solar module shipments peaked in fiscal year 2014, followed by decreases in the successive years, according to JPEA’s data. Nonetheless, the data shows that the decline rates was condensed in 2QFY16. JPEA’s data revealed that the module shipments in 4QFY15 was only 76% of the volume in 4QFY14, the volume in 1QFY16 was 79% of in 1QFY15, representing 24% and 21% declines, respectively. In contrast, the module shipments in 2QFY16 was 92% of the volume in 2QFY15, representing a YoY decrease of only 8% and indicating a lessoned decline rate.
In 2QFY16 and in Japan, the total module shipments was 1,815MW, and the total cell shipments was 645MW; the volume of cell shipments was 82% of 2QFY15’s figure. Among the total module shipments, Japanese companies delivered 1,043MW, equal to 87% of the volume in 2QFY15. Additionally, all cells were provided by local companies.
As of nationality of suppliers and places of origin of the modules, 57% of the total module shipments were delivered by Japanese companies and the rest 43% were from international companies. 36% of the total module shipments were produced domestically in Japan, while 64% were made overseas. The ratios have a minor change from ratios in the previous quarter.
1,665MW from the 1,815MW module shipments were utilized for domestic projects, including 309MW for residential solar projects, 404MW for commercial projects, and 950MW for large-scale projects with installation capacity of over 500kW. The figures demonstrate a 16% decrease in residential-use projects but an increase in large-scale projects – it was 110% of the module shipments for large-scale projects in 2QFY15. Furthermore, international companies supplied a larger portion of modules to Japan’s large-scale projects comparing with the portions to residential and commercial projects.
Monocrystalline PV module shipments were 398.27MW, multicrystalline module shipments were 1,215.9MW, and other types were 201.62MW. Module shipments from the “other types” category increased by a positive rate, and the shipments from monocrystalline and multicrystalline modules declined year-on-year.