This year, Japan could become world’s second largest solar market after China. The country is making efforts to find alternative sources of energy after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011 left it with only two working nuclear reactors.
Solar installations will be boosted to a range of 6.1 gigawatts to 9.4 gigawatts in 2013, exceeding an earlier forecast of 3.2 gigawatts to 4 gigawatts, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). China is estimated to add 6.2 gigawatts to 10.5 gigawatts while additions in the United States may total 3.3 gigawatts to 3.9 gigawatts.
Japan’s “upward revision was done because of the rapid increase in shipments seen last quarter as well as the fact that the pipeline of projects is even stronger than previously expected,” BNEF said.
Japan in July began offering incentives through feed-in tariffs to encourage investments in energy sources such as wind and solar, according to the international press.
“The feed-in tariff has been successful in sparking interest and potential for unprecedented growth in solar,” Travis Woodward, a Tokyo-based solar analyst at BNEF, said. “This large introduction of solar is significant enough to compliment other strategies to alleviate power demand issues from idling almost all nuclear plants in Japan. Solar system prices will need to come down closer to global average, however, to make a sustainable market.”