Global Solar Energy Incorporated, a manufacturer of flexible solar panels, has announced that it is entering the Japanese solar market with flexible solar panels that are designed specifically for Japanese roofs.
These flexible solar panels are called PowerFLEX BIPV. BIPV stands for Building Integrated Photovoltaics.
Photovoltaic solar panels are the most common type of solar panels (apart from solar thermal water heaters, which are not electric but use the sun’s heat to directly heat water). Solar PV converts sunlight into electricity using semiconductor materials.
On July 1st, Japan’s new FiT (Feed-in Tariff) program went into effect. This FiT program is progressive, as it requires utilities to pay 42 yen or $0.52 USD per kWh of solar electricity generated for 20 years from solar plants that are larger than 10 kW.
This high $0.52 rate makes it much more attractive to set up solar power plants, because there can be a lot of money to be made off that guaranteed price. Researchers estimate that this could foster a solar market of $9.6 billion (or 3.2 GW).
“With its recent FIT program and proven dedication to integrating more renewable energy into its utilities’ portfolio mix, Japan will prove to be one of the most important markets for solar in the coming years,” said Jean-Noel Poirier, Chief Sales Officer, Global Solar Energy. “With our highly-valued partners, Global Solar is well positioned to take advantage of the market growth and bring our powerful and cost-effective PowerFLEX BIPV solar solution to more rooftops around Japan.”
The PowerFLEX BIPV modules achieve 12.6% aperture efficiency, which is relatively high for flexible solar panels.
Solar panels of this type can be installed with no mounting hardware, and can be more seamlessly integrated into a building.
“Recognizing the desire of many Japanese businesses to reap the benefits of the FIT program while also maintaining the aesthetics of their buildings, Global Solar offers an alternative to traditional heavy and rigid glass modules, as well as other flexible PV products,” continued Poirier.
Source: Global Solar
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