Good News for the Japanese Solar Panel Industry

Japanese solar panel makers are increasing production, as a consequence of the boom in solar installations in Japan caused by the new feed-in tariff law. See this article at Nikkei. Thanks to this tweet by Chris Nelder for the link.

Sharp wants to increase production to 1.8 GW, which means an increase of 36% in a year, and an all-time high. Kyocera plans to supply 1.2 GW, up 50%. And Panasonic is exceeding the pace of its estimate, which was 0.675 GW for the year (a 25% increase).

That’s good news. And it shows that a very high feed-in tariff for solar at 38 Yen per kWh will help the domestic solar industry.

I would still hesitate to invest in these Japanese companies. In the short term their prospects are good. But in the mid and long term, I expect them to lose against the Chinese makers, just as the German solar panel industry has lost against China.

I still think that it is a very risky idea to invest in solar panel makers in the first place. But if one considers doing so, Yingli Green would be what I recommend (see my “List of Global Warming Stocks”).



Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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