Up to 100 solar PV firms in Japan could face bankruptcy this year, with more than double the number of firms going bust in the first half of this year than the same period in 2016.
According to corporate credit research company Teikoku Databank, which surveys companies across various industries and has produced its third report on solar PV company bankruptcies, 50 companies in Japan’s solar sector have already gone out of business in the first six months of 2017.
While the market overall has rapidly expanded from the launch of the feed-in tariff (FiT) in July 2012, Teikoku Databank acknowledged that there has been a slowdown in deployment in the past couple of years as the government successively made cuts of 10% or more on an annual basis to the premium prices paid for solar energy fed into the grid.
The credit agency said “bankruptcy of solar-related contractors is rapidly increasing”, with solar panel manufacturers also affected. In the first half of 2016, just 23 companies went bankrupt, with this year’s first half’s showing of 50 bankruptcies representing a 2.2x increase. Teikoku Databank forecast that 100 firms in total could go under during 2017.
Another research firm, Tokyo Shoko Research, quoted in Japan Today in 2016, gave a slightly higher figure, 31, for the number of H1 2016 bankruptcies.