Chinese PV-Cell Makers Foray Into the Japanese Market

published: 2019-09-11 0:30 | editor: | category: News

Chinese PV-cell makers are gearing up to foray into the Japanese market, whose demands for PV power have been expanding for five straight quarters.

In Q2, the total shipment volume for PV power in Japan, for its domestic demands and exports, jumped by 15% year-on-year to 1,585 MW, which is the fifth quarterly growth in a row, according to the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA). Attracted by the huge potential of green power and its storage systems, many PV makers in China have stepped up their efforts to tap into the Japanese market.

According to the Nikkei News, BYD, China’s leading electric-car maker, is planning to start selling its storage batteries for plants, office buildings, and power systems in Japan starting in 2021. Meanwhile, CATL plans to join hands with the Japanese PV power firm Next Energy & Resources in selling low priced residential and industrial PV cells in Japan starting from 2020.

China’s Trina Solar and Suntech Power are also gearing up to make inroads into the energy storage battery market of Japan in the future, according to the Nikkei News.

In Japan, a growing number of local firms have already started to take active steps to prepare for the inroads of the Chinese firms. CATL, which has officially become the reigning champion of the battery market in Japan, has successfully elbowed out its Japanese rival Panasonic to 2nd place in 2017, followed by BYD at 3rd place.

In the recent years, major energy-storage system makers in China have also started to set their sights on the Japanese market, in order to escape the highly competitive domestic market in China, where there are more than 100 car battery manufacturers. The total capacity of China’s car battery production lines is currently expected to hit 164 GWh by the end of 2019, which is up from the 134 GWh figure at the end of 2018.

China is currently the world’s most dominant producer of lithium-ion batteries. In early 2019, the country accounted for close to 73% of the global capacity of 316 GWh, which is a far cry from the 12% of the U.S., which is in 2nd place, according to BNEF.

In the solar panel market, China is also a force to be reckoned with globally; As of now, the country’s overall share in the global market has already reached 70%, while its share in the Japanese market has reached 50%. In the 2nd quarter of 2019, the total import volume of its solar panels to the Japanese market leapt by 20% year-on-year to 734 MW, for 46% share, compared with the 851 MW by the Japanese enterprises.

(Collaborative media: TechNews, first photo courtesy of pixabay)

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