With the nuclear power station disaster in Japan still fresh in the minds, the Japanese demand for renewable energy is on the increase, however, a country that was once the world’s solar cell manufacturing leader, the Japanese now trail the US and China. To improve green energy take up, the Government has started deliberating on legislation to create a system that would make power utility companies buy all the power that is produced by renewable means at a fixed price.
This new system could ensure stable power resources and promote industrial development, however, the prices at which companies buy electricity must be appropriate; High prices could lead to complacency and the sector may not need to innovate and improve turbines and solar panels to get better prices. Too low and newcomers to the generation market may not see the financial benefits.
Thermal power generation is increasing being used to make up for the falling use of nuclear power in Japan but this option is expensive and dirty. Whilst the opposition agree with the ruling Democratic Party of Japan that Japan should be using more renewable energy, currently it only accounts for 1% of power generated in the country. With the proposal purchasing system this could make a significant contribution to the renewable energy market.
The new purchasing system is expected to increase demand for both solar and wind, which will help manufacturers cut prices in line with the US and China thanks to high production and this new electricity market could even grow to the size of the car industry in Japan. Natural energy use should be promoted to help change this nation’s industrial profile and take a positive step away from nuclear power.