Sharp has managed to fight its way back to profitability this year — posting an 18% boost in sales over last year, up to JPY 2.93 trillion (US$28.6 billion), and a net profit of JPY 11.56 billion ($113 million). The return to profitability is notable because of the large loss posted by the company the previous year.
The recent gains were partly thanks to the recent boom in Japan’s residential solar market, as well as the fact that 2013 was a good year for the company’s other sectors.
Solar cell sales rose by a very substantial 68.9% to JPY 439 billion ($4.3 billion) — this was partly down to the residential market, but also partly down the utilization of its panels in large-scale solar projects.
According to reps from the company, this current fiscal year will see a pick-up in the Japanese economy, and, subsequently, a pick-up in sales.
“The overseas business environment is expected to show mild recovery. However, we anticipate the situation will remain unpredictable, with some risk factors, including the pullback of US quantitative easing and a slowdown in the growth in China and emerging countries, and a geopolitical risk in Ukraine.”
Something to note with regard to increased domestic demand — the company has largely refocused on the domestic market at the expense of the international as a result of weak sales in the European market. With an increased focus on the Japanese market, sales should remain quite healthy there.
In related news, the “largest solar PV power plant in Japan” recently went online in Oita City, located on the southern portion of the island.
The 82 MW Oita Solar Project represents a significant boost to the country’s, and to the region’s, renewable energy capacity. Power from the new plant is currently being sold to Kyushu Electric Power Company under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
Sharp Solar Profit Is Positive Again (Solar Cell Sales Increase 69%) was originally published on Solar Love!.
The top 15 solar PV module manufacturers of 2013 have been revealed thanks to a new report from the market research firm IHS.
As many would no doubt guess, the list is dominated — yet again — by firms based in China. But, interestingly, the Japanese firms Sharp and Kyocera saw a bit of a resurgence — up a fair bit from previous years. Japan’s strong feed-in tariffs for solar and Japanese preference for Japan-made products was clearly part of this upswing.
Some other things to note — Yingli Green Energy (aka Yingli Solar) once again took the top spot; 7 out of the top 10 companies were based in China; and the total Chinese share of the market fell 1% to 58% — down from a 59% market share in 2012.
“The year 2013 marked the turnaround of global PV markets and the recovery of leading players in the photovoltaic industry,” stated Jessica Jin, an analyst for solar supply chains at IHS. “Chinese and Japanese PV module suppliers benefited from the surge in demand in their domestic markets, with China in particular accounting for more than a quarter of global installations in 2013 and becoming the leading region in the process.”
IHS provides more:
The Chinese as a group continued to be the star players of the global PV market, but there were also signs pointing to slower growth. While they continue to lead by far, 2013 also marks the second time their overall market share has not risen significantly. Chinese suppliers held a 57% share in 2011, 59% in 2012 and 58% last year.
European companies also maintained stable share in 2013 at 13% — nearly unchanged from 2011 and 2012. In contrast, the Japanese module industry enjoyed an increase to 15%, up from 12% in 2011. Meanwhile, US suppliers fell behind as their portion dropped to 9%, down from 13% in 2011.
While Sharp and Kyocera saw the most substantial rises, a third Japanese firm managed to rank in the top 15 as well, CIS thin-film producer Solar Frontier. Solar Frontier saw shipment growth of more than 60% in 2013.
The IHS report also noted that total global solar PV shipments hit 38.7 GW in 2013 — roughly a 24% increase over the previous year. Interestingly, much of the growth appeared to be from the top players — showing clearly the consolidation of the industry. The top 15 manufacturers held a 59% market share in 2013, up from 51% in 2012.
With regard to the continued consolidation of the solar PV manufacturing industry, that’s something that’s likely going to continue for some time — with the dropping of state-support, in many cases, being one of the main drivers.
That’s exactly what’s happening right now in China, with a recent order by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology doing a lot to “clean up” the industry — likely finishing off over 75% of the country’s solar panel and related component manufacturers.
Expect to see more of that in the near-future. And just note, this isn’t bad — it’s a natural part of a maturing industry.
Top Solar Module Manufacturers of 2013 was originally published on Solar Love!.
First Solar is continuing to do quite well, based on the most recent numbers released by the Arizona-based thin-film module manufacturer. An 89% boost (to $112 million dollars) in net profit as compared to the previous year, and a 26% year-on-year increase in net sales (up to $950.2 million dollars) ain’t too shabby.
The company has also reported 404 MW worth of new bookings during just the first three months of 2014. One of these bookings is the 53 MW Shams Ma’an project in Jordan.
Total revenue also rose significantly, up $182 million from the fourth quarter of 2013. The company has attributed much of the increase in revenue to the Campo Verde project.
The 139 MW Campo Verde Solar Project in California was sold last year to Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power and Turner Renewable Energy. Roughly 65% of the company’s revenue stems from the construction and sale of utility-scale solar farms.
Bloomberg provides more:
The company has identified 12.2 GW of potential new contracts over the next few years, with 59% coming from projects outside the US and “widespread utility scale interest in the US,” Hughes said yesterday during a conference call.
Net income in the first quarter rose to $112 million, or $1.10 a share, from $59.1 million, or 66 cents a share, a year earlier, the company said in a statement yesterday. That was more than double the 50-cent average of nine estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
First Solar CEO Jim Hughes stated: “We delivered strong earnings in the first quarter and are increasing our financial guidance for the year based on these results. We have also made significant progress in new bookings and continue to execute on our technology roadmap.”
In related news, First Solar just recently reported that it had set a new world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) module conversion efficiency, something which should further help the well-regarded solar company continue to be a market leader. The new record stands at 17% conversion efficiency — a pretty big boost from the previous record of 16.1%.
First Solar Reports 89% Surge In First-Quarter Net Profit was originally published on Solar Love!.
If you’re currently considering whether or not to go solar, and you live in an area serviced by OneRoof Energy, well, now may be the time!
The solar services provider is now (during the months of April and May) offering qualified homeowners who switch to solar with OneRoof Energy’s zero-down SolarSelect® lease program 12 months of free solar payments. Those that sign up before April 30th get an even better deal — 18 months free.
If you’re in the position to, and are still considering whether or not to go solar, this might be a good time. I’d say it’s worth checking out.
“Solar lease and Power purchase agreement (PPA) programs remain the preferred method of adoption in the United States,” stated Nick Hofer, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at OneRoof Energy. “Last year more than 70% of California solar installations and 50% of installations nationwide were the result of a solar lease or PPA programs. We believe that this promotion will make it undeniable to even the most questioning of observers that affordable solar is a reality today.”
For a bit of background, OneRoof Energy is a “complete solar services provider” that offers homeowners everything that they need to go solar — handling everything from the financing, to the design, to the installation, to the project management, to the maintenance. The company allows homeowners to go solar with nothing down, and offers protection against utility rate hikes for up to 25 years. OneRoof currently serves homeowners throughout Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.
To find out more about the promotional offer and/or OneRoof Energy in general, be sure to check out their website — which you can find here.
For a good piece on solar leasing vs solar loans (vs cash purchases), check out: Is Solar Leasing Your Worst Option For Going Solar?
OneRoof Energy Offers 18 Months of Free Solar! was originally published on Solar Love!.