Bloomberg says that Japan will take over from Germany as the World’s largest market for solar this year. They expect between 6.9 to 9.4 GW over the year.
It will still be a close contest with China for the top spot. Again, according to the Bloomberg article, China will be between 6.3 and 9.3 GW.
While I would not approve of Japan winning against Germany in the FIFA World Cup (congratulations to Japan for qualifying for Brazil 2014 yesterday), I think it is great news to see them beat Germany in solar installation records.
One thing we can learn from that is that feed-in tariffs work to get things done. This new development of course happened because Japan finally put a feed-in tariff system into place from last July on, with rather attractive rates starting out.
One other thing we can learn is that solar can be deployed very fast, so as to take advantage of these new feed-in tariffs. In contrast, wind is still failing to react to the new favorable environment. It just takes much longer for a wind project to jump all the regulatory hurdles.