Japan is one of the few bright lights for the solar industry this year, with its new aggressive feed-in law.
With developers rushing in, there's room for innovation rather than the scrimping we're seeing elsewhere.
One of the more interesting concepts are floating solar plants. A domestic home developer, West Holdings, plans to build 10 floating solar PV plants that add up to 20 megawatts (MW).
The first two, which will come online soon, are floating in a nature prereserve and a wetland. The company is looking for areas where it can build larger solar plants on water.
Over the next five years, Japan Mega Solar Co. (formed by West Holdings in June) plans to build 250 solar plants with a combined capacity of 500 MW.
Kyocera's 70 MW solar plant, which is under construction, will jut out into Kagoshima Bay.
What's the Advantage?
Water offers a stable surface, full exposure to the sun, and installation is cheaper. They can be set up to turn in the water to follow the sun as this Italian firm has done: