Sales of solar cell modules in Japan rose 10 percent to 2.29 gigawatts in October-December from a year earlier, industry data showed on Tuesday, bolstered by a government scheme to encourage renewable energy.
But the quarterly shipments fell about 6 percent from 2.39 gigawatt in the July-September quarter, according to data provided by the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association.
In July 2012, Japan introduced a feed-in tariff (FIT) programme under which regional power utilities are required to buy power from renewable energy suppliers at pre-set premiums for up to 20 years.
The move, aimed at helping the world’s third-biggest economy shift away from its reliance on nuclear power after the March 2011 Fukushima disaster, has been spurring billions of dollars in clean-energy investment.
To deal with an onslaught of solar projects taking advantage of the attractive FIT programme, five of the 10 regional power monopolies changed the scheme last month to make it easier for them to place limits on renewable power intake if they face network limitations.