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Clean Power all new buildings in japan may have solar power soon

Published on May 23rd, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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Japan May Require Solar Panels on All New Buildings by 2030



all new buildings in japan may have solar power soon

Japan is expected to announce a requirement to have all new buildings include solar panels by 2030 at an upcoming G8 meeting in France on Thursday.

For awhile, people wondered how Japan would react to the Fukushima nuclear disaster (in the long term). Would it cut its plans to build 14 new nuclear reactors and have 50% of its energy supply coming from nuclear by 2050, or would it stay on that route once the steam from this disaster died down?

Well, in the past month or so, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has made the answer pretty clear. It is cutting its nuclear expansion plans completely (though, will continue start operation of its existing plants again soon following “confirmations” of safety — an announcement on this is also expected this Thursday). And rather than fill the gap with fossil fuels, it intends to keep on with its carbon-cutting policies by focusing on renewable energy and energy conservation instead.

And it seems, as a recent TIME piece stated, its leadership realizes that solar energy is one of its most promising assets. ”Geothermal, wind, biomass and small-scale hydropower projects all have potential in Japan, but for now, solar looks like the fastest way to add more power to the national grid,” TIME‘s Lucy Birmingham wrote.

At the 2-day G8 Summit in Deauville, France at the end of this week, Prime Minister Naoto Kan is expected to unveil a renewable energy and energy conservation plan that is said to include an unprecedented requirement to have all new buildings come with solar panels by 2030. Stunning. And, of course, well-liked by me, greens, and other clean energy enthusiasts around the world.

I can imagine the U.S. “don’t step on my freedom” people now. But guess what, we have countless safety requirements for new buildings all around the country and if you look at this with a little bit of perspective, that’s what such a requirement is.

From global warming to energy independence and security, we need clean, renewable energy installed fast and we need leading policies like this to make it happen. Of course, I can’t imagine the U.S. ever passing such a policy, but it’s nice to see that another leading democracy is looking to do so.

Kan said a couple weeks ago that Japan needed to “start from scratch” and create an entirely new energy policy. Approximately one month ago, he said that taking the Fukushima nuclear disaster as a lesson, the country would “lead the world in clean energy such as solar and biomass, as we take a step toward resurrection.” This bold new plan to put solar panels on every new building is a good step in that direction.

Related Stories:

  1. Unprecedented UN Report: Renewable Energy Costs to Drop, Use to Grow Substantially by 2030, but…
  2. China to Cut Nuclear & Increase Solar Power Goals after Japan Crisis
  3. Some Good News From Japan
  4. While Europe & China Put Nuclear Energy on Hold, Will U.S. Learn from the Catastrophe in Japan?
  5. Renewable Energy Passed Up Nuclear in 2010
  6. My Thoughts on Nuclear
  7. How Risky is it For Germany to Shutter its Nuclear?
  8. Germany Abandons Nuclear Power

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Touma Sakawaki

    goooooooooooooooo japan!

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  • Jon K

    2030 is 19 years from now.  Saying they will do something 19 years from now isn’t impressive considering the technology is available today.  With any luck, the solar guys will hit grid parity well before then and governments won’t have to require builders to do anything.  They’ll do it on their own because It will simply be a cheaper way to get power.  

    What would be impressive is requiring some amount of solar capacity on new buildings by say 2013 instead of by 2030.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      Jon K, I agree, idealistically. On the other hand, I haven’t seen anyone set policies like this one that were stronger. When I first read about this, I didn’t run across the target date (2030) for awhile. Stuck it in my headline to be open about the time frame, which could definitely be much better. And, hopefully, in practice, it will be. But still think setting such a policy is helpful and nice to see Japan do so.

  • James Elliott

    Nice, I guess, but what we really need to see first is “Japan To Require All New Homes to be Built With Reasonable Amounts of Insulation”.

    Solar power is nice but requiring building methods to use levels of insulation required in the West would have a much cheaper impact. But not nearly as sexy, I guess.

    • Anonymous

      I can’t say I’m an expert on this, but from what I’ve read, Japan is a
      leader in energy conservation. Historically, hasn’t done a ton on the
      renewable energy front but implemented tremendous energy conservation
      policies. Not sure about its insulation policies, in particular.

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