Solar companies eye Japan market
New feed-in tariffs in Japan are expected to heat up the solar market there.
For Phoenix-area solar companies such as First Solar Inc. and Kyocera, Japan may represent the next new frontier.
Japanese officials announced today what it would pay for solar energy in a feed-in tariff program that could quickly elevate it to among the top markets in the world.
Japan was the sixth-largest investor in renewable energy for 2011 with $9 billion, tying with the United Kingdom and Spain, according to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance report on global trends in renewable energy investment.
But its feed-in tariff levels are expected to come in at twice the level of the highest German levels, a country that invested $31 billion in the solar market in 2011 even as it was scaling back.
That could mean while solar manufacturers were hurting with a lack of demand from Europe, where austerity measures have been on the rise, Japan could fill in the slack in the supply chain.
Tempe-based First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) is one of those companies that has cut back. It announced earlier this year that it was closing its German factory and putting off production in Mesa because of the global glut of panels. The company has a factory in Malaysia and could easily get its products to a Japanese market.
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.