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Solar power in Japan

Solar power in Japan

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Solar power in Japan has been expanding since the late 1990s. The country is a leading manufacturer of solar panels and is in the top 5 ranking for countries with the most solar PV installed. Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 is third in the world in total solar power (behind Germany
Solar power in Germany
Germany is one of the world's top photovoltaics installers, with a solar PV capacity as of May 2011 of more than 18,000 megawatts .The German solar PV industry installed 7,400 MW from nearly one-quarter million individual systems in 2010, and solar PV provided 12 TWh of electricity in 2010, about...

 and Spain
Solar power in Spain
Spain is one of the most advanced countries in the development of solar energy, since it is one of the countries of Europe with more hours of sunshine. The Spanish government committed to achieving a target of 12 percent of primary energy from renewable energy by 2010 with an installed solar...

), with most of it grid connected. The insolation
Insolation is a measure of solar radiation energy received on a given surface area in a given time. It is commonly expressed as average irradiance in watts per square meter or kilowatt-hours per square meter per day...

 is good at about 4.3 to 4.8 kWh/(m²·day).

Financial incentives

The Japanese government is seeking to expand solar power by enacting subsidies and a feed-in tariff. In December 2008, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced a goal of 70% of new homes having solar power installed, and would be spending $145 million in the first quarter of 2009 to encourage home solar power. The government enacted a feed-in tariff
Feed-in Tariff
A feed-in tariff is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies. It achieves this by offering long-term contracts to renewable energy producers, typically based on the cost of generation of each technology...

 on November, 2009 that requires utilities to purchase excess solar power sent to the grid by homes and businesses and pay twice the standard electricity rate for that power.


The government set solar PV targets in 2004 and revised them in 2009:
  • 28 GW of solar PV capacity by 2020
  • 53 GW of solar PV capacity by 2030
  • 10% of total domestic primary energy demand met with solar PV by 2050


Solar companies of Japan include:
  • Kyocera
    is a multinational manufacturer based in Kyoto, Japan. It was founded as in 1959 by Kazuo Inamori and renamed in 1982. The company has diversified its founding technology in ceramic materials through internal development as well as strategic mergers and acquisitions...

  • Mitsubishi Electric
    Mitsubishi Electric
    is a multinational electronics and information technology company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the core companies of the Mitsubishi Group....

  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
    , or MHI, is a Japanese company. It is one of the core companies of Mitsubishi Group.-History:In 1870 Yataro Iwasaki, the founder of Mitsubishi took a lease of Government-owned Nagasaki Shipyard. He named it Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, and started the shipbuilding business on a full scale...

  • Sanyo
    is a major electronics company and member of the Fortune 500 whose headquarters is located in Moriguchi, Osaka prefecture, Japan. Sanyo targets the middle of the market and has over 230 Subsidiaries and Affiliates....

  • Sharp Solar
    Sharp Solar
    Sharp Solar produces thin film modules and mono and poly-crystalline silicon solar cells. Sharp's photovoltaic modules are used for many applications, from satellites to lighthouses, and industrial applications to residential use. Sharp began researching solar cells in 1959 with mass production...

Notable projects

The Solar Ark
Solar Ark
The Solar Ark is one of the most famous solar buildings . It is an ark-shaped solar photovoltaic power generation facility which offers activities to cultivate a better appreciation of solar power generation, and thereby benefitting both ecology and science...

is one the largest solar buildings in the world.

Installed capacity

Total installed solar power (MWp)


















External links

  • http://www.jpea.gr.jp/ - Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association Official website