July 18 (Renewables Now) - In the first half of 2017 there were 50 bankruptcies of solar companies in Japan, as compared to 23 in the same period of 2016, according to Japanese credit research company Teikoku Databank.
For the whole of 2017, 100 bankruptcies of companies in the Japanese solar sector are possible, the firm says. Between January 2006 and June 2017 it recorded 251 in total.
Roughly 90% of the bankruptcies involve small firms with less than JPY 50 million (USD 386,000/EUR 445,000) in capital. The volume of liabilities is also small in over 80% of the cases, but Teikoku Databank is observing an increase in the numbers of relatively large bankruptcies.
Thanks to a surge in solar installations, driven by the launch of attractive feed-in tariffs (FiTs) several years ago, Japan until recently ranked as the third biggest solar market globally. According to several researchers, that position is now India’s, while regular FiT cuts and changes in policy have put an end to the solar age in Japan.
In its just-released Global Solar Demand Monitor, GTM Research says the transition toward auctions in Japan will lead to 25 GW-30 GW of approved projects being canceled. Still, more than 7 GW of installs are still likely in 2017, the research firm adds.