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Japan’s Domestic Solar Equipment Shipments Surge 38% in Jan-Mar

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May 18 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s domestic shipments of solar cells and modules surged 38 percent to 392 megawatts in the first three months of this year, the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association said today.

The growth was led by the residential market, which rose 45 percent to 331 megawatts, the industry group said in a statement. Exports fell 53 percent to 163 megawatts.

For the full year ended March 31, domestic shipments rose 32 percent to 1,404 megawatts as the residential market increased 40 percent to 1,206 megawatts, the association said. Exports for that period fell 13 percent to 1,281 megawatts.

Mikio Katayama, chairman of the association, said yesterday domestic shipments will exceed 2,500 megawatts in the year ending March 2013. His remarks came as the country prepares to start preferential rate payments in July for electricity generated from renewable sources, including solar and wind.

The data was compiled from 34 companies including Kyocera Corp. and Sharp Corp.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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