Solar cell manufacturer
) announced that it will start constructing a 1.8 megawatt (MW)
solar project in Kitakyushu-shi, Japan. FirstSolar will be using
its CdTe Thin Film PV modules.
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This project marks the beginning of FirstSolar's strategic
investment in the Japanese solar module market. Earlier this
month, the company announced that it will invest $100 million in
Japan to develop solar projects. FirstSolar will also collaborate
with Japanese companies to develop these projects.
Japan's need for electricity is rising, particularly after the
Fukushima nuclear power plant accident triggered a complete phase
out of all nuclear reactors in the country. The last operating
nuclear reactor was shut down in Sep 2013. Presently, the
Japanese government is looking for alternate resources to meet
the growing need for power in this very industrialized nation.
Japan has started to import coal to feed its coal fueled power
plants. However, coal plants emit green house gases, a major
cause of global warming. So, generation of electricity from
renewable sources is the best possible remedy for Japan's energy
Japan is going to be a key energy market and the government has
set a target to install 28 Gigawatt (GW) of solar energy power by
2020. Hence, FirstSolar's entry into Japan, a market with clear
growth visibility, is expected to fetch increasing returns on
As present, solar modules have an edge over other alternate
sources. In fact, the wide availability of solar energy along
with high conversion rates makes it a popular alternate energy
resource. Steady R&D by solar cell manufacturers has actually
lowered the cost of solar power generation.
A report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration suggests
that 20% of the total power generated in 2040 will come from
renewable sources and solar photovoltaic will play a major role
in it. FirstSolar will be a key player in this solar module
market. The company has already manufactured solar modules in
excess of 7 gigawatts (GW).
Operators in the solar cell industry, which look attractive at
current levels, include
Enphase Energy, Inc.
JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd.
Trina Solar Limited
). All these stocks carry the same Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) as First