Kyocera Counts on Overseas Solar Sales to Expand in U.S., Asia

(Bloomberg) — Kyocera Corp. expects solar-panel production
to exceed 1.2 gigawatts for the year starting April 1 as it
pushes to expand sales in the U.S. and Asia, while promoting
storage systems combined with panels in Japan.

The Kyoto-based company forecasts production of solar
panels will reach the 1.2-gigawatt threshold for the 12 months
ending March 31, before exceeding that mark the following year,
said Toshihide Koyano, who heads Kyocera’s solar-energy business
group.

“The ratio of domestic sales will drop, while the volume is
expected to remain the same, so the total is expected to exceed
1.2 gigawatts,” he said. 

Kyocera’s shipment for large-scale solar projects in Japan
is expected to remain at the same level for the next few years,
according to the official.

Kyocera is also promoting storage systems combined with
solar panels on residential rooftops. The push comes amid a
government effort to get new homes to incorporate such devices,
as well as energy-efficient air conditioners and lighting in
order to bring net energy use to zero. The government wants to
achieve “net zero energy” for new homes in Japan by 2020.

Home Storage

“Home builders will begin offering different types of net
zero energy homes next spring so storage will be incorporated
regardless of the availability of subsidies,” Koyano said. 

Japan’s solar market shows signs of slowing, with some
utilities saying their transmission lines are being overwhelmed
with requests for grid connection from solar developers.

Shipments of solar panels in the country were lower for
each quarter this year, compared with the same period last year,
data from the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association show. 

Kyocera plans to expand sales in Thailand, the Philippines,
Indonesia and Myanmar, focusing mainly on commercial projects,
according to Koyano. In the U.S., the company is focusing on
panel sales for residential rooftops and community solar
programs.

Kyocera has been developing solar cells since 1975.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net
Iain Wilson, Indranil Ghosh

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