Deutsche Bank is planning to lend nearly one billion dollars for three to six Japanese solar projects during the next 12 or 18 months. Of course, it’s Japan’s feed-in tariff (FiT) that is helping generate interest, but a Deutsche Bank director named Hans Van Der Sande said that because the rate has dropped, the real players are staying after the initial gold rush.
Some non-Japanese companies are interested in solar projects in Japan but aren’t getting much support from Japanese banks. This may have nothing at all to do with the extra attention they received for getting caught loaning money to yakuza gangsters.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said the Japan could install the most new solar this year. Bloomberg analyst Takehiro Kawahara said it is possible Japan could add 10,300 MW of solar this year, “While international investors have also been very keen to enter the Japan solar market, very few have been successful thus far. While there is no legal barrier to entry, the large number of entrenched Japanese financial institutions make it difficult for international players without local partners to enter the market.”
If his expectation is fulfilled, it might be a great thing for Japan and the world. The Fukushima nuclear problems were something of a ‘teachable moment’ for millions about the dangers of aging reactors. If Japan can turn the damaging incident into a surge in clean energy, there will probably be some positive press for renewables.
Presently, and historically, renewables have faced a reliable–if not withering– resistance in the form of criticism and outright propaganda.
Fukushima could become the ultimate turnaround. The prefecture where the nuclear disaster occurred has a goal of running on 100% renewables by 2040.
It appears that foreign investment might play some role in Japan’s rapid addition of clean energy sources, but who knows how much receptivity there is to it.