Bolstered by increased domestic demands, PV-cell shipment volume (including domestic demands and exports) expanded, for the second quarter running, by 7% year-on-year to 1,483 MW in Q3, according to statistics publicized by the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA) on Nov. 22.
The JPEA pointed out that PV-cell shipment volume of overseas enterprises jumped by 29% year-on-year to 677 MW in Q3, accounting for 46% of the total, up by two percentage points than the previous quarter and rivaling the previous record in Q4 2016, compared with 7% decline year-on-year to 806 MW for Japanese suppliers in Q3. The ratio between domestic output and overseas output stood at 23:77.
Japan's domestic PV-cell shipment volume hit 1,373 MW in Q3, up 7% year-on-year, first quarterly growth in recent five quarters.
Of the domestic shipment volume, that of residential PV cells dropped by 6% year-on-year to 236 MW in Q3, in sharp contrast to 10% growth of PV cells for large-scale PV power stations to 1,136 MW, 80% of the total.
Meanwhile, export volume of Japanese-made PV cells rose by 2% year-on-year to 2110 MW in Q3.
Major Japanese PV-cell suppliers include Sharp, Kyocera, Panasonic, Solar Frontier, under auspices of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., and Mitsubishi Electric.
Nikkei News reported on July 9 that amid acute price competition in the shrinking PV power market in Japan, overseas suppliers have made major inroads into the market, edging out domestic rivals such as Sharp and Kyocera and taking over championship on the market in 2017.
According to TSR, a private credit investigation body, the number of bankruptcies of PV power-related enterprises reached 88 in 2017, up35% sharply over 2016 and setting a new record, for the third year running, for the investigation which started in 2000. Forty two of the bankruptcies were attributed to sluggish sales.
TSR noted that shakeout has taken place at accelerated pace among Japanese PV power enterprises since 2015, which has been aggravated by increasing pressure for cut of PV power engineering costs, adding that the number of such bankruptcies will remain high in 2018.
(First photo courtesy of BlackRockSolar via Flickr CC BY 2.0)