Investors look to Japan for big solar energy projects

9 years ago by in Business, Featured

In Japan solar energy has been by far more popular for individuals than for corporations. Now the country is looking at new ways to increase its installed capacity of the renewable power source. The latest subsidy plans of the government have started to attract big investors.

The solar energy subsidy of U.S.-based MEMC Electronic Materials, Sun Edison, is discussing with the Japanese government a project for the installation of solar power plants worth of at least Y350 billion ($4.6 billion) over the next five years.

Among the prefectures that are taken into consideration for hosting the new sites are Niigata and Fukuoka. The project would total about 1 gigawatt, according to the providing company.

In Japan, about 80 percent of the installed capacity in solar energy belongs to individual households. Investors started to be attracted by the Japanese market since the parliament passed a bill last summer to guarantee better prices than market rates for those willing to invest in clean-energy development.

The government is however still expected to announce the exact values of the planned subsidies.

Japan’s total solar power installed capacity was about 3.6 gigawatts in 2010.