TUESDAY 19 JUNE, 2012 |
Could Japan Eclipse Germany In Solar Power?
Japan embracing solar isn't just good news for that country - it will have
positive flow on effects around the world.
In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan began turning its attention
away from nuclear and towards renewables, going so far as to shut all its
nuclear energy based electricity generation facilities down.
While Japan's prime minister recently ordered two nuclear reactors to be switched back online,
it is also launching a very generous program to support the uptake of renewable
Industry Minister Yukio Edano has set the price paid to solar power system
owners for electricity at a level that should drive at least $9.6 billion
investment in 3.2 gigawatts of solar PV capacity according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Utilities will pay 42 yen (AUD 52.4 cents) a kilowatt-hour for 20 years to
owners of solar power systems. New Energy Finance says while Japan ranked sixth
globally in terms of new PV installations last year, 2013 will see between 3.2 to 4.7
gigawatts constructed - enough to supply clean (and safe) power for up to a
million Japanese households.
Bloomberg predicts Japan will leapfrog past Germany and Italy in solar PV
capacity growth, with only China ahead of it
Japan's solar industry is understandably ecstatic regarding the news. Increased
uptake will not only see solar companies profit, but increased investment leads
to increased research and development, along with competition - driving
innovation and pushing prices of solar
and related equipment down.
Regarding the Fukushima disaster, the operator of the affected nuclear power
plants is still struggling with the situation. According to a report posted on FukushimaUpdate
Tokyo Electric Power Company says a new method has failed to locate radioactive water leaking from one of the
reactors, a critical step needed to be completed on the path towards decommissioning.
Other news for Tuesday 19 June, 2012
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