Aggravated market competition and business transformation have prompted Toshiba to exit from Japan’s residential solar market. The company will now focus on commercial and industrial solar power plants, as well as the development of perovskite solar cells. With that being said, Toshiba will still provide after-sales services on residential solar for 20 more years.
Toshiba unfolded its solar business in 2010, and produced large-sized perovskite solar panels during September 2021, before eventually accomplishing a 20% efficiency. The transparent cuprous oxide film solar cells of Toshiba have arrived at an efficiency of 9.5%. Thin film silicon solar cells at 28.5% of efficiency can be achieved by connecting thin film solar cells with 25% silicon solar.
Toshiba will continue to study the next-gen solar cells after exiting the residential solar field. Japan’s solar market has been expanding rapidly after the country’s introduction of FiTs, which would naturally enlarge corresponding businesses, though Toshiba, under the severe degree of market competitions, has decided to terminate its business for the particular area, and turn to the maintenance side of it.
Toshiba is by no means fully exiting the solar field, and commented that solar systems will remain as one of the major businesses of the company, though it will now focus on industrials solar power generation at an engineering level by providing one-stop solutions.
Toshiba is not the first company to exit due to intense competitions. Major Swiss electromechanical company ABB had decided to sell its solar inverter division to Italian inverter supplier FIMER SpA during 2019 under low-price competitions and a severe market environment, for which the former had paid US$470 million of termination fee (approx. NT$14.5 billion).
(Cover photo source: Unsplash)