PV Expo is the first solar energy exhibit in Japan of the year, and can serve as the best indicator to observe the Japanese market development in 2011.
On the other hand, since the Japanese manufacturers can not compete with firms from Taiwan and China on manufacturing costs, they have generally quit the traditional solar cell and the module areas, and have constantly moved to different areas which can bring high profit margin in the solar industry value chain. Hence, equipment, material, and system installation have become the main target areas for Japanese manufacturers to launch products at PV Japan, such as TOYO TANSO, AGC, NEG, Toshiba, and so on.
With system installation development in Japan, and energy saving program planned by the Japanese government, Japanese manufacturers have become the supplier for total energy saving solution program. Therefore, their strategies are not limited to the research and development in the solar energy area. Instead, the focus has been on energy saving related field, like materials, building, network, and system.
In addition, since Japanese culture seeks for great perfection to maintain competitive advantages in the solar energy industry, development and application of new technology is also in the leading position. At this event, according to EnergyTrend’s observation, Japanese big companies have concentrated on Back Contact and 3BB (3 Bus-bar) products and have started to launch 4BB (4 Bus-bar), and spherical Si still being part of manufacturers’ main product series. On the other hand, in the thin film and new technology areas, Japanese manufacturers put more focus on the development and manufacturing of CIGS, Tandem and DSS fields.