Kyocera Considering Power Market Entry to Diversify From Solar

May 07, 2014 3:56 am ET

May 7 (Bloomberg) -- Kyocera Corp., a Japanese electronics and solar-panel maker, is considering entering the country’s power market to diversify its solar business.

“We are looking at options such as whether to enter the power producer and supplier business,” President Goro Yamaguchi said at a press conference in Tokyo today. “The Japanese solar market will be saturated in several years so we need to think about the next steps” beyond marketing solar products, he said.

Yamaguchi’s remarks follow companies such as solar panel maker Suntech Power Japan Corp. registering themselves as power suppliers as the nation prepares to liberalize its electricity markets in 2016 and allow households to pick suppliers.

Kyoto-based Kyocera plans to produce 1.4 gigawatts of solar products in the year ending March 31, 2015 from 1.2 gigawatts in the previous 12-month period, Yamaguchi said.

Even as the company aims to produce more solar products this year, it forecast a 9.6 percent decline in profit at its applied ceramic product group, which includes solar devices.

“The main reason for the drop will be the solar business as panel prices come down year after year,” Yamaguchi said.