Japan Crisis: Impact on Solar Industry

The crisis in Japan is crushing supply chains in various industries, including solar. The country is home to 25% of the world’s solar production, including polysilicon and modules. 

Some of the world’s largest solar manufacturers – Panasonic (PC), Kyocera Corp. (KYO) and Sharp (SCHAY.PK) – are shut down.

While some plants aren’t severely damaged, employees can’t get to work and infrastructure, such as transmission lines are down. It could take at least 2-3 months to repair the power grid. It will even take longer to repair roads and ports.

That’s benefiting Chinese solar firms, which will fill in the gap. Companies like Sunpower, Sharp and Kyocera will likely have to buy components from Chinese manufacturers at high prices. 

Sentiment now is shifting towards solar and away from nuclear. Japan will rigorously move toward solar, and China, France, Italy and Germany are considering boosting solar. 

Meanwhile, shares of wind and solar companies worldwide are up 27% because of expectations that the Japanese nuclear crisis will spur interest in renewable energy. 

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