Over 7 gigawatts (GW) worth of new solar PV capacity was installed in Japan during the last fiscal year, according to numbers recently published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
The numbers — compiled by the Agency for Natural Resouces and Energy (ANRE) — represent a 10-fold increase in installations over the previous year.
Japan flag via Shutterstock
The exact figures are for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, are 7.04 GW of new capacity, and for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, 1.66 GW — pretty significant growth. 🙂
Interestingly, the big increase is mostly the result of a big uptick in commercial-scale solar power plant development — whereas the previous year’s growth was mostly via the residential rooftop sector (960 MW). The residential sector did grow in fiscal year 2013, though — by 1.3 GW. It simply lost its market share thanks to the addition of 5.73 GW of new commercial-scale capacity.
Worth noting is the fact that a fair proportion of the commercial-scale capacity was installed just during the last month of the fiscal year — apparently in order to ensure a higher feed-in-tariff rate, as those were set to be lowered on April 1st.
In related news, an 82 MW solar power plant recently came online in the eastern country, representing a notable chunk of newly installed capacity.
The Oita Solar Project — as it’s known — has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Kyushu Electric Power Company. Annual output for the new power plant is expected to be somewhere around 87 million kWh. The modules used for the project were provided by Hanwha Q Cells.
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