Government figures show 3,993MW of solar PV capacity added over a seven month period
Japan is in the middle of a solar energy boom as new feed-in tariff incentives mobilise investment in both domestic and commercial solar PV systems.
Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has reportedly released new figures this month showing that 3,993MW of PV capacity was installed in 2013 between 1 April and 31 October.
"Photovoltaic power facilities steadily continue to be introduced, and the total combined capacity of such facilities as of October 31, 2013, reached 5,852,000 kW after the feed-in tariff scheme was introduced," the ministry stated.
The performance marks a significant increase on the nine months to March, in which just over 1.6GW of new capacity came online.
The surge in new installations takes Japan's total solar PV capacity to over 11.2GW, cementing its position as one of the world's largest and fastest growing solar markets.
In related news, leading Chinese solar manufacturer JA Solar announced today that it has partnered with South African solar farm developer Powerway PV SA to launch a new joint venture in the fast-expanding African market.
The companies said they would co-operate on the development of a new solar manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth's COEGA Industrial Development Zone. Production is now scheduled to start in the second quarter of this year, with the plant expected to produce up to 150MW of solar capacity for the African market each year.
"This facility will play a crucial role, as we seek to benefit from the significant growth potential across the Southern African region," said Baofang Jin, executive chairman and chief executive of JA Solar, in a statement.
"Improved cost-effectiveness is making solar an increasingly attractive energy alternative in South Africa. Having a presence on the ground will give us the local knowledge and qualification needed to identify and pursue the best commercial opportunities while providing better services to our customers."
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