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Clean Power Japan_Residential_Solar_450

Published on April 5th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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Japan’s Rapid Residential Solar Power Growth

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April 5th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
 
 
We’ve written about many (if not all) of the topics below in the past year or so. But this is a great little summary of the rapid solar growth occurring in Japan at the moment, from the Marketing Director of Kyocera Solar Corporation (a leading solar panel company), and I figured it was worth a share, so here it is (I’ve just pulled out what I think are the key sections):

Even before the 11 March 2011 disasters, the domestic solar market was experiencing high growth, with more than 1GW of domestic shipments of solar power equipment for residential, industrial, commercial and utility-scale installations in fiscal year 2011; up almost 160% from the year before.

Aided by the restart of the national subsidy program for residential solar power in January 2009, and a feed-in tariff program that was also started in November of the same year, which purchases excess energy at 42 Yen/kWh for installations smaller than 10kW*2, it is expected that up through the end of March 2012 more than one million homes in Japan will have installed solar power. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the number of installations will continue to increase annually by roughly 12% in the coming years.

Still, following the March disasters, the Japanese government quickly moved to support renewable energies passing a revamped feed-in tariff (FiT) bill which is slated to go into effect 1 July, 2012, and will purchase not only excess power, but all power generated by solar installations over 10kW. The purchase price per kilowatt and length of the new FiT are still undecided, but favorable conditions would be certain to further stimulate the solar market and adoption of renewable energies.

… there is a growing trend toward energy self-sufficiency on a local and individual level. The number of applications for residential-use solar subsidies ballooned to 215,178 in the period from April 2011 to January 2012, up 140% from the previous year. Following the March disasters, solar companies have also come up with new solutions to meet these energy needs. One such example is Kyocera’s all-in-one energy management system (EMS) which combines a solar power generating system with a lithium-ion battery storage unit. This technology not only provides back-up energy in the event of a blackout or natural disaster, but can also help lower consumption from the grid during peak hours by efficiently controlling energy use from solar power, the battery unit and the grid.

"Schematic of energy use flow using Kyocera’s solar power generating system & energy management system with Nichicon’s power storage unit."

By 2020, it is believed that 70% of new homes will come equipped with solar power, thus allowing more and more people to generate their own clean energy.

 

Aside from residential solar, commercial and utility-scale solar are also booming in Japan — read a bit more on that via the link below.

Source: Solar Novus

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Janiceho1019

    Sorry, my email is janiceho1019@netvigator.com

    Dear Sir,

    My name is Janice Ho from in Hong Kong.

    I would like to introduce our Solar panels to you. If you or your customers are interested please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.I can send you the quotation & brochures are for your references.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    with personal regards,
    Janice
    Tel: +852 97533627
    email: janiceho1019@netvigator.com

  • Janiceho1019

    Dear Sir,

    My name is Janice Ho from in Hong Kong.

    I would like to introduce our Solar panels to you. If you or your customers are interested please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.I can send you the quotation & brochures are for your references.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    with personal regards,
    Janice
    Tel: +852 97533627
    email: janiceho1019@netviagtor.com

  • Bob_Wallace

    I’d like to see some financial analysis of adding battery storage to grid-tied system.

    A few days ago I ran across the idea of using a power router to purchase power from the grid when prices are low, store it in batteries, and then use it when prices are up and the solar day hasn’t yet started.

    Batteries would also store roof-generated electricity for the peak cost hours after the Sun is low.

    Batteries are still expensive (for the time being). I wonder if they pay for themselves in a reasonable amount of time.

    I wonder if people who live with large peak/off-peak cost differences might find storing “cheap” would pay for itself, even with out solar input.

    • ThomasGerke

      I’ve been thinking about this aswell. Looking at solar-output, wind output and the fact that a EV-sized battery is more than enough to keep a home humming for a few days, is quite exciting.
      Considering that industry giants are expanding their battery production capabilities and research efforts like crazy right now… I think there will be cheaper batteries soon.

      The battery of the Nissan Leaf is already significantly cheaper than previous batteries. I think it’s in the territory of $350 / kWh and I saw some press release of home use trials with it.

      Though one should not emphazise return of investment as the primary factor for energy investments in my opinion. People don’t consider profitability with most of their purchases… otherwise there wouldn’t be SUVs.
      My guess is:
      When the financial threshold isn’t tooooo high, people will do it simply for being a clean energy pioneer, being independent, sticking it to corporations, doing something about climate change…

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