TOKYO -- Foreign manufacturers of solar cells are boosting their exports to Japan, filling a gap that is widening as demand outstrips what domestic companies can supply.
South Korea's Hanwha Q Cells, the largest of the foreign manufacturers doing business in Japan, plans to increase shipments some 10% in fiscal 2014 to the equivalent of 700,000kW of solar cells.
Ranking No. 2, Canadian Solar intends to boost its shipments by some 20% to 600,000kW of modules.
Both companies will work to supply more solar cells for detached homes and condominium complexes. Hanwha Q Cells will seek partners among leading builders, while Canadian Solar will promote sales of solar panels integrated with control systems and other peripheral equipment.
China's Yingli Green Energy Holding, the world's largest manufacturer of solar cells, plans to more than double annual shipments to Japan to 500,000kW in fiscal 2014.
And China's Suntech Power, which has emerged from bankruptcy as a unit of the Shunfeng Photovoltaic International group, plans to introduce new products in Japan later this year.
Domestic shipments of solar cells touched a new record high for a sixth straight year in fiscal 2013, rising 2.2-fold to some 8.54 million kilowatts, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association. That is equivalent to the power output of eight nuclear reactors. Foreign manufacturers accounted for 29% of total shipments, up six points from fiscal 2012.