Due to the expectation that Japan will lower its solar feed-in-tariff (FIT) in April and the US punitive tariffs' impacts on China-made solar products, some tier-one Taiwan-based solar cell makers have seen orders rising.
The Japan solar market has been seeing a surge of demand due to the expected incentive cut. In the past, Japan-based firms tended to issue orders to solar firms in Greater China but due to consideration of conversion efficiency, trade barriers against China-based firms, and an ongoing territorial dispute between Japan and China, Japan-based firms have been increasing orders to Taiwan-based firms.
However, not all solar makers in Taiwan are experiencing increasing orders from Japan.
Also, the US punitive tariffs against China-made solar cells have been pushing China-based firms to procure solar cells from Taiwan. The US market is predicted to have 3.5GW of installations in 2013 and in particular, 50% of the solar modules used are expected to be from China-based firms and many of the solar modules will contain Taiwan-made solar cells to avoid being taxed.
Some Taiwan-based solar firms have reported good order visibility till mid-second quarter. Some firms have enjoyed strong solar incentives for rooftop systems in Europe. These systems demand higher conversion efficiency of solar cells and Taiwan-based firms have been favored due to stable product quality.