The reintroduction of subsidies and a new feed-in tariff introduced in November 2009 helped to more than double solar sales in Japan in 2009, compared to the previous year. According to the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association, sales reached 483.96MW in 2009, up from approximately 230MW in 2008.
Japanese PV solar cell and module manufacturers also increased exports to the U.S., which were up 21% compared to the previous year, reaching 203.17MW in 2009.
Although the largest export market for Japanese producers, solar cell and module sales in Europe actually fell by 4.3%, to 624.25MW, total shipments reached 1.143GW.
Monocrystalline shipments of 576.5MW topped the cell type technology categories. Multicrystalline cell shipments reached 419.4MW, while a-Si thin-film shipments reached 120.3MW in 2009.
EPIA had forecasted installations in Japan would reach 400MW in 2009, while Photon Consulting has projected installations to reach 700MW. Sales figures reported by the JPEA are for shipments, not installations, but reflect potential installation figures.