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The Facts of the PV market in Japan

Nearly 45% of the world's photovoltaic (PV) solar cell production is manufactured in Japan.

Japan leads the world in thin film PV with the highest capacity of operational manufacturing plants. Present manufacturers are Kyocera, Kaneka, Matsushita Battery, Sanyo, Sharp and Showa Shell Sekiyu.

Japan has set a national target to install 300 Megawatts of wind capacity by 2010

(Solarbuzz 6/24/03

According to NEDO statistics for the International Energy Agency, the Japanese roof program had promoted 51,899 solar power systems by the end of fiscal year 2000 (to March 31, 2001).

The capacity of these systems amounts to about 210 megawatts. The maximum output of all such systems installed in Japan up to this point was 317,5 MW, also according to NEDO.

(The Solarserver 6/26/03

Why use Photovoltaics?

High Reliability

It operates virtually no maintenance for long time.

Low Operation cost

PV cells use the energy from sunlight to produce electricity

It works for fuel free.

Environmental Benefit

Because PV burns no fuel, it does not discharge carbon dioxide.

PV system is clean and silent.


A PV system can be constructed to any size based on energy requirements.

Low Construction Cost
PV systems are usually placed close to where the electricity is used, requiring much shorter power lines than if power is brought in from the utility grid.

(U.S. Department of Energy 7/8/03

Demand Stimulation

National government subsidy for installation covers about 1/2 to 1/3 of equipment and other costs.

Excess electricity can be sold off to the electric utility at the same price as electricity supplied.

(NEF -Renewable energy in Japan 7/30/03

World Photovoltaics Production

(Pink = Japan, White = United States, Yellow = Europe, Green = Others, Line = Total)

Total world installed capacity PV showing that Japan is fastest growing nation in this sector with growth rate approximately 20% per year over the last three years.

(PVTEC 7/23/03

The Leading Solar Quintet: Kyocera, Sharp, Mitsubishi, Sanyo, Kaneka

Since 2000, the Sharp Corporation has been able to feel like the world leader, rather than Kyocera. The company based in Osaka was able to leap from the mid ranks of solar cell manufacturers to the top within just two years. "In June of 2001, the second production line in Shinjo went into operation. The yearly production capacity is 94 MW," says Hiromi Morita of the Japanese Sharp headquarters. The volume of sales in the solar branch should grow around 50 % to 28 billion Yen (about $ 250 million) this year. Most of the solar cells will still be sold in the domestic market.

Mitsubishi Electric was number 4 in Japan behind Sharp, Kyocera, and Sanyo, and this year the electronics giant plans to expand its capacity to 24 MW.

"Last year Sanyo produced 17 MW in Japan. In the current fiscal year it should reach 33 MW," says Shijiki Komatsu of Sanyo . In the long term, Komatsu confirms that Sanyo would like to build its capacity up to 120 MW. Presently, the company is building a large solar power plant in the parking lot of the Sanyo Factory in Gifu, Japan, which with a peak output of 3.4 MW should be the largest in the world. By the end of March 2002, the installation of one megawatt is expected.

(The Solarserver 6/26/03

Market Value of Household Photovoltaics in Japan

(PVTEC 8/27/03

An Example Installation of Household Photovoltaics




(Agency for Natural Resources and Energy 7/10/03

Daily Energy Consumption Pattern

(Misawa 8/13/03

Average Annual Solar Energy Resources

(NEDO 7/10/03

Annual Expected Japanese Energy Production

Blue bar--Production of Energy from PV per year (kWh)

Green bar--Conversion of annual energy charge (Japanese yen)

Sendai Sapporo

Osaka Tokyo

Naha Hukuoka

(Sharp 7/8/03

Feasibility Study of Photovoltaic Systems in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia

In the Gobi Desert, Mongolia, the Energy Electronics Institute of the National Institute of Advanced Science and Technology (AIST) set up two types of photovoltaic modules and the checking devices (e.g. I-V Curve Tracer, etc.) as well as the meteorological monitoring devices to study the characteristics of the photovoltaic system operation in the severe natural environment, in corporation with National University of Mongolia. Purpose of this study is to verify the output simulation technique for the vary-large-scale photovoltaic system (VLS-PV) to confirm the efficiency of using the large scaled concentrated photovoltaic system to be in this area, and also to clarify the specification requirement for the system design. The latest monitoring results are presented.








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( Technology Development on Performance and Durability of Photovoltaic Power Generation Systems 10/9/03

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Updated: 2016/06/30

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