Steel Company Cashes In On Japan’s Solar PV Housing Boom

Kobe Steel Ltd will supply a major Japanese home building company, Misawa Homes, with photovoltaic module systems for its houses.

TOKYO, Japan (JP) 2002-02-06 [] Eighty percent of PV systems sold in Japan are used in the housing sector. One of the larger specialty steel products manufacturers in the world, Kobe expects to supply Misawa with module systems for 500 homes a year, with sales of 3 billion yen. Due to rising demand, Kobe began manufacturing PV modules last November at its Takasago Works in Hyogo. It signed a licensing agreement with RWE Solar GmbH for its PV module systems and claims that the RWE cells have a low impact on the environment in comparison with conventional polycrystalline cells. The Japanese government has designated solar energy as one of the power sources under its New Energy Web initiative and has set a target of generating 5 million kW of electricity from PV systems by the year 2010.


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