NewEnergyNews: NEW ENERGY AND JAPAN’S F-I-T

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    Friday, June 22, 2012

    NEW ENERGY AND JAPAN’S F-I-T

    Japan approves renewable subsidies in shift from nuclear power

    Yuko Inoue and Leonora Walet (w/Yoko Kubota, Risa Maeda, Aaron Sheldrick and Ed Davies), June 18, 2012 (Reuters)

    “Japan approved…incentives for renewable energy that could unleash billions of dollars in clean-energy investment and help the world's third-biggest economy shift away from a reliance on nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster…Industry Minister Yukio Edano approved the introduction of feed-in tariffs (FIT), which means higher rates will be paid for renewable energy. The move could expand revenue from renewable generation and related equipment to more than $30 billion by 2016, brokerage CLSA estimates…The subsidies from July 1…[require] Japanese utilities to buy electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal at pre-set premiums for up to 20 years. Costs will be passed on to consumers through higher bills.

    “Utilities will pay 42 yen (53 U.S. cents) per kilowatt hour (kwh) for solar-generated electricity, double the tariff offered in Germany and more than three times that paid in China…Wind power will be subsidized at least 23.1 yen per kwh, compared with as low as 4.87 euro cents (6 U.S. cents) in Germany…Japan's aim to accelerate investment in safer, cleaner and self-sufficient energy is starting from a low base: renewable sources apart from large hydro-electric dams account for only 1 percent of power supply in Japan…”

    click to enlarge

    “…Nuclear power accounted for almost 30 percent of Japan's electricity supply before an earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year triggered the Fukushima disaster…About 60 percent came from oil, coal and gas, but that share has risen to almost 90 percent as safety concerns led to all of Japan's 50 reactors being shut. The rest of Japan's electricity comes mostly from hydro…The government estimates capacity from renewable energy will increase to 22,000 megawatts by the end of March 2013, up from 19,500 MW now, with 2,000 MW of that from solar panels.

    “…Japan has huge potential…CLSA Asia-Pacific predicts solar capacity will jump to about 19 gigawatts by 2016 from about 5 GW or less now, while wind capacity may reach 7.6 GW in four years…The subsidies will benefit solar panel makers Panasonic Corp and Sharp Corp and solar project installer Sekisui Chemicals, along with wind farm developers such as Toyota Tsusho and Japan Wind Development…But foreign makers of solar panels - including Chinese equipment maker Suntech Power Holdings, Trina Solar and Canadian Solar - are also targeting Japan's market…”

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