Solar energy boom on horizon for Japan
In the wake of the Fukushima desaster Japan has announced ambitious plans to boost solar power generation. What is special here is that there are no large-scale sar projects planned, but rather that the government will set the price of electricy. Industry Minister Yukio Edano may set a premium price for solar electricity that’s about triple what industrial users now pay for conventional power, a ministry official said. Utilities should pay 42 (67c) a kilowatt-hour for 20 years to solar power producers, almost twice the rate in Germany, the world’s biggest market by installations, under a proposal by a panel set up by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Japan ranked sixth worldwide by new installations last year, when it added 1.3 gigawatts of solar to bring its installed base to 5 gigawatts. Obviously Japanese business is not amused.
Remark: this would be a courageous decision of the Japanse, securing them a relatively good position in the long term as the Japanese will have the inevitable hardship that will accompany a switch towards a renewable energy base, behind them, where other countries will have to deal with the consequences of resource depletion. They will be in mch worse shape than Japan.