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After Fukushima, Japan gets green boom - and glut

51 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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Instead of covering vast tracts of Japan's countryside with these, perhaps they should be promoting the installation of domestic systems that cover the roofs of houses and cover the needs of the household. Any surplus power could be sold back onto the grid. In trying to turn Japan Green, they might just turn it all metallic grey doing this. Not to mention the ecological disaster of doing so. Not so 'Green', me thinks.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Renewable energy is still the future. Don't give up. The "problems" are only an excuse for putting some nuclear reactors back online.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

What a joke this is! Why don't the power companies expand their operations to meet applicants' demands? And the article is incorrect! It is simple to store solar power-people all over the world are off grid by storing their power in old lead acid batteries. The technology was developed in 1859. It is the shortsightedness of the power companies in not developing storage systems, not the unfeasibility of the power generation that stymies the power companies. As an investment it is a winner! Contracts with the power companies are around 20 years. It is guaranteed income in double digits with little maintenance - would the government expect people not to invest?

I know two individuals with 5 solar farms between them and all they can think about is getting more.....

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The problem isn't green energy. It is governments and utilities making promises they can't or won't keep. This is at about the same level as shady real estate operators called up old people and selling them useless land at four times the price, which was on the news last night. The only difference is that the real estate folks, if caught, will go to jail.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"Why don't the power companies expand their operations to meet applicants' demands?"

Aren't you confusing the supply and demand thing? Shouldn't the power companies' first priority be to meet the demands of consumers and not suppliers?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

They need to give costly explanations of why they are increasing the Japanese consumer's electrical rates to pay for all these nuclear retro-fits, fukushima disaster, and the costs of importing all the oil for the energy (don't use nuclear). If the rates do not go up then expect consolidation and centralization + the rates will still go up once that is done.

WIth all that in mind solar/wind is a good choice.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Read Solar power in California and Solor Power in WikiPedia to see different solar panel installed energy companies that do not depend on nuclear energy. Mitsubishi and Sanyo are big in Solar Energy Panel industy, such as Satellite type for Energy companies.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Corruption. They are being blocked by Big Nuclear

10 ( +10 / -0 )

First the power utilities and the supporters of nuclear energy, claim that renewable energy, solar power, can only generate a tiny amount of the total power demand but then claim there are too many solar panels. Reaction against the FIT is the real reason why and if people have committed investments because of a previous decision by the gov't then it needs to step in and ensure those promises are kept otherwise how do we trust what it states.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Governmental smoke and mirrors to gain support for nuclear power. If the government was serious they would be backing these green energies to get them online ASAP. The Australian government has been paying half the installation costs for domestic solar panels for over a decade and, as a result, Australia is now approaching 50% renewable energy. Australia also has one of the world's largest hydroelectric systems that supplies a third of the electricity to South-East Australia (around 70% of the population). I noticed that hydroelectricity is missing from Japan's goal. Why? Japan's goal to have 20% green energy by 2030 is pretty weak. It's much better than the current 3%, but they should be setting their goal much higher. All we hear from the Abe government and the Japanese economists is whining about the high cost of importing fossil fuels, but they don't seem to be too serious about get rid of the dependence, except for pushing to get their deadly reactors back online, of course.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The government needs to rein in these corrupt power cartels.

They'll sabotage anything that's good for Japan if it gets in the way of their profits.

After all, maybe it's the government that needs to be reigned in.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

“It’s like fraud on the national level"

It isn't "like" fraud, it is fraud. Big nuclear, and the politicians they keep in their pockets are shameless crooks.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

”a whopping 3 trillion yen would be added to electricity bills.“On the positive side this will make energy costs higher which will finally make people think more seriously about conserving it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The utilities say they can’t accommodate the flood of newcomers to the green energy business

This sentence SHOULD read: "The utilities say they don't want competition in the sector the government has allowed them to legally monopolize as a cartel for the last 70 years."

The bottom line here is that without the government ORDERING them to accept outside companies (with the penalty being a loss of their franchise) there will never be any change.

Honestly, anyone who thought that these companies would just hand over even a tiny part of their lucrative energy empires for the good of the country doesn't understand how unpatriotic big business really is.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

This is what happens when people believe government lies.

the whole "sell your extra electricity back to the power plants" was just a con by get people to buy solar for the home. It was never ended to be a money making scheme, where people just set up MASSIVE amounts of solar panels thinking that the power companies HAVE to buy the electricity.

A TRUE venture of this sort would INCLUDE the solar panels, the storage, the delivery system AND enough willing customers to make it work. AND the government would have to DEREGULATE the industry so ANYBODY could set up their own solar shop and deliver to customers. THEN they'd have to compete with each other (solar energy company X vs. solar energy company y) in order to fine tune the technology.

I suspect if anybody did that now, the energy they provided to homes would be WAAY more expensive than it is now, so, from an economic standpoint, it's simply not feasible.

If there truly IS a green future, it will HAVE to be based on free market competition. Not a bunch of subsidized flim flam.

Anything else is just a government-cronyist con.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well which is it, there are too many panels or they don't generate enough? You can't have both.

Meanwhile in Spain they use molten salt to store solar energy, so to state that """...supplies of power from sources such as solar are not reliable enough or easily stored.""" is completely contrary to today's reality. From Wikipedia: """The Andasol plant uses tanks of molten salt to store solar energy so that it can continue generating electricity even when the sun isn't shining."""

Utilities just don't want alternatives since they are in bed with nuclear and will do anything to undermine it. No change can occur until the utilities are broken up between distribution and generation, and when laws exist to support local energy.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Replacing a food-producing rice field with a huge array of solar cells, the production of which is a giant environmental disaster, which whill have to be replaced after 20 years, and which feed a small amount electricity into the grid only during the daytime and good weather.... that IS NOT a "guilt-free investment". Not for anyone with a functional brain who looks beyond the hype.

Fwiw, Germany has just reduced its government subsidies for solar cell, which simply because too expensive after too many people took advantage of them. Solar cells are financially viable only the the degree that the taxpayer can pay for them....

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

This is just another promise that is forgotten. What a sham this government is.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

nice try to manipulate the public with this sourceless piece of failinformation. there has been no switch offs in germany. if you still claim so then please give exact officially approved sources

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Try placing solar panels over all of those mountain sides covered in concrete.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

http://coloradoenergynews.com/category/public-policy-issues/

Do not give up for alternative energy. My state Colorado is a leader of alternative energy policy in US. I am pasting a website for you. Stay tenacious and move forward for change.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Honestly those going on and on about how expensive green power is have absolutely no clue.

I saw a village in Africa last year where they had taken about a thousand discarded 2 liter cola bottles and floated them in the ocean with bricks attached to the bottom. Inside was a core of wire salvaged from discarded household electrical cords, and a solid metal core. When the waves went up and down it moved a metal core up and down through a coil of wire and generating electricity.

Apparently an engineering student from the US was visiting the area and showed them the idea and built about 10 of them before he had to go home, and then the villagers copied the design and they kept adding to the flotilla of bottles every time they had the materials, and replacing ones the were damaged or floated away.

Apparently the entire set-up cost less than $1000 to set up and had been delivering the village a steady supply of power, day and night for about 6 months. The most expensive part was apparently the "substation" used to regulate the power supply, but I didn't get a good look at that since the villagers said they didn't really understand how it worked and the only person allowed in there was a guy who worked as an electrician's apprentice for a while, and he wasn't around that day.

It probably wasn't a lot of power, but it was more than enough to run a small internet cafe with three computers, a vending machine (always coca cola!) and lights in all the houses at night, plus a few street lights.

If a bunch of motivated people, most of whom don't even have a high school education, can take some trash and turn it into a functioning completely green power system then honestly the problem is not cost, the problem is that it challenges the vested interests of the rich and powerful.

And that's the REAL issue here. The same issue that stopped electric and hydrogen cars for so long, that the oil industry simply blocked them using its connections in the car industry until governments told them to knock it off.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

this is the exact reason ive put off installing solar panels on my house, ive seen it in other countries and its also starting to happen in Australia in that solar is starting to eat into big powers profits. if your going to install solar panels MAKE SURE you also have batteries eg electric car or standalone to store the energy during daylight hrs. you can then tap into it at night. my father has a similar sytem and now he never had to pay an electricity bill again as he always has an energy surplus. At this point in time the elec companies have to pay for his electricity, but there will come a time that they will lobby his government to stop. He could see that was coming so made sure he installed enough cells and batteries to ensure they dont get another penny of his money.

9 ( +8 / -0 )

What surprises me most is the fact that after the government ordered electric companies to buy electricity from individuals and accodingly people began to set up generating facilities, such as solar energy plants, this same government decided to vastly subsidise corporations starting up renewable energy business. It looks almost like ”hey I can't afford paying people, so you corporations, generate electricity a lot and sell it to electric companies cheaply!” If you are aware that buying small amount of electricity from individuals can be costly, do not buy from them in the first place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan cannot have it both ways. If on the one hand it claims it needs nuclear power again or there will be an energy shortage, how can it say it has too much solar energy? If the distribution and storage of green energy is the problem, then start working immediately to fix that problem instead of complaining about it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Also, a big problem is that parts of Japan--like Hokkaido and the Tohoku region north of Sendai and the Hokuriku region on Honshu--have serious amounts of snowfall in winter, which really makes solar power not so practical. Indeed, I've always said that Honshu west of Osaka, Shikoku and Kyushu have enough sunny days to make solar power really viable (rooftop solar panel installations should be common in these parts of Japan).

2 ( +4 / -2 )

why don't thy stick one of those geothermal units on the government building because the amount of hot air that they tell us and produce would keep Japan going most of the week!.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Corruption. They are being blocked by Big Nuclear

Yep, Big Nuclear, in case you don't have your eyes open, are experts at being blocked. They are so powerful they can get THEMSELVES shut down.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

For many decades, the power utilities, the nuke village and the LDP gov't's have been bed fellows with the power utilities donating billions to their campaign funds.

In another twist,

Japan Atomic Power Co., struggling financially while its nuclear reactors remain offline, still donated 1.54 billion yen ($13.7 million) to a city government and asked that the funds be kept secret, officials said Nov. 1.

@WillB

Replacing a food-producing rice field with a huge array of solar cells, the production of which is a giant environmental disaster, which whill have to be replaced after 20 years, and which feed a small amount electricity into the grid only during the daytime and good weather.... that IS NOT a "guilt-free investment". Not for anyone with a functional brain who looks beyond the hype.

No one is replacing rice fields with solar panels but there in fact many areas with unused fields since less people want to farm these days but there are huge tacts of lands no good for anything. The new range of solar panels will last longer than 30 years and generate more power for less size which means more panels on a roof and more power generated.

If solar can only generate a small amount of power why the problem from the utilities?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Guy_Jean_DailleultNov. 02, 2014 - 06:58PM JST

Corruption. They are being blocked by Big Nuclear

Yep, Big Nuclear, in case you don't have your eyes open, are experts at being blocked. They are so powerful they can get THEMSELVES shut down.

Eventually shut down after running plants past their agreed safe operating limits at the time.

Eventually shut down after not installing necessary backups.

Eventually shut down after not doing necessary maintenance.

Eventually shut down after a major disaster that affected Tokyo... the place where the people who they pay to look the other way live with their families.

And you'll also note that they're starting back up again ... and interestingly it is the places furthest from Tokyo that are being restarted.

So don't come with bull about Big Nuclear not pulling strings.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Something missed by everyone here is the fact that northern and southern Japan are on different power grids. IF the entire country were on the same grid excess power could easily be transferred to areas of need.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Check following article or solar power in cold place to read any article provided to see why your rooftop panels have gap between each.

Cold Weather, Snow, and Solar Power in New England

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know a guy that has solar panels on the roof of his 4-bedroom house near Tokyo and he generates more electricity than he can use, which he sells back to TEPCO. This obviously means that solar electricity 'is' economically viable and the J-Gov are just a bunch of right-wing pro-nuclear tossers that will lie constantly to get the reactors back online.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe he should make his own grid and sell electric during the day to the other farmers. Add a storage and it could be full time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another source of info is Photovoltaic power station - Wikipedia

Find why Northern places utility companies use PV power utility than usinng expensive uranium based nuclear enerfy plant.

Many houses in Nevada installed rooftop pamels years ago for home use We have several Solar Panels sales companies in our city. Their suppliers are Sanyo and Mitsubishi USA. as these two companies and others manufactire in USA. Thes local sales companies did not know Mitsubishi, Sanyo, Kyocera and other Japanese Soar panel makers has bisness license in Japan. .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But Kyushu Electric Power Co, the utility to which he must sell his electricity, has recently placed on hold all new applications for getting on its grid. Four other utilities have made the same announcement and two more announced partial restrictions.

The utilities say they can’t accommodate the flood of newcomers to the green energy business, throwing in doubt the future of Japan’s up-to-now aggressive strategy on renewable energy. Another challenge is that supplies of power from sources such as solar are not reliable enough or easily stored.

It seems that the power company has only placed new applications on hold. They can't accommodate the flood of newcomers. The power company didn't say they would never accept the so-called green energy suppliers.

It seems the so-called green energy suppliers are panicking that their multi yen investments aren't making a profit yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's government should step in and require that the utility accept these new sources of clean electricity, even if it leads to lower electric rates for it's people. This is good for the economy and good for the environment. Surely the Japanese government can see the value in reducing it's dependency upon coastal nuclear power plants. Such solar investments should be protected, because they help on several levels. Though, I also feel that it is a shame to have to use a rice patty when farm land is also at a premium. Maybe the solar structure could have been raised to also allow different crops to grow under it? Or better yet, maybe Japanese investors and scientists need to start considering potential methods to expand their land boundaries onto the surface of the ocean.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it would seem that rather than pay out to panel-people, utilities are taking the subsidies from gov't instead to profit and squeeze them out, so they will go back to nuclear. If people cared about alternatives, the barriers would disappear.

Toronto and Sapporo have about the same latitude, so don't go crying that you can't have panels. It's about design not snow.

While the focus is on solar, note that Energy is never one type. The concept that solar has to replace everything is therefore false. Do what you can, try, but if other options are possible, use those too.

The point for most grids is what they call baseload. Nuclear and hydro are often the baseload, with other systems like gas as the variable load. Solar would need a lot more molten salt to be a baseload, but geothermal would not. Therefore geothermal is easily the future baseload, while wind/solar + molten salt our future variable load. It's not actually a different game, just different players.

Local energy production, making homes and commercial buildings increasingly more self reliant at the single building or neighbourhood level instead of the current regional level remain the key to opportunity, change, and jobs.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Imagine if this solar array were set upon the top of an apartment complex, carports, and out-buildings. Wouldn't that have been a better investment of the same space. Not that it isn't cool as it is. I simply think governments and or companies need to do more to merge investments together so help solve some of the worlds increased demands, for space.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

arrestpaulNov. 03, 2014 - 04:19AM JST

It seems that the power company has only placed new applications on hold. They can't accommodate the flood of newcomers. The power company didn't say they would never accept the so-called green energy suppliers.

"On hold" means "never accept". "On hold" could be 1 day or it could be 10 years, and there's no incentive for the big power companies to let them in, because it would mean less profit.

It seems the so-called green energy suppliers are panicking that their multi yen investments aren't making a profit yet.

Green energy is a commercial venture. You seem to be confusing "green" with "commie". You're in error.

I was chatting a few months ago with a construction firm owner who bought up a massive number of solar panels to install on future building contracts. Some clients requested panels, and based on the demand level at the time he laid in stocks for the next few projects since it looked like there would be supply problems. Currently he's sitting on about 15 billion yen's worth of solar panels that he can't sell. This has put a serious dent in his business' cash flow, because thanks to the nuclear power faction clients are now reluctant to have as many panels installed.

And it is precisely this sort of problem that has crippled the Japanese economy for so long. I'm not a fan of a completely free market, for example I believe that basic human necessities (food, medical care, and wifi) shouldn't be based on free market pricing, but in Japan there is no free market at all. Almost every aspect of the Japanese economy is subjected to nonsense like we see in this situation, where big power companies are actively blocking new entrants to the market in order to keep prices higher.

At the end of the day that isn't good for the Japanese economy, it isn't good for the people of Japan, and it isn't even good in the long-term for those same big power companies in Japan, because it'll just drive innovation until someone finds a way around them and they suddenly find themselves out of business.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I know a guy that has solar panels on the roof of his 4-bedroom house near Tokyo and he generates more electricity than he can use, which he sells back to TEPCO.

I have solar panels on my roof and I am able to sell excess power back to my local utility. However my friend who lives a few kilos away had his installed in mid-August this year and the local utility has stopped buying excess power to anyone who installed and contracted prior to August 7th of this year.

There are literally hundreds of people who have the panels installed, (which means THEY have to pay for it) but are not hooked up to the network because the utility will not purchase nor accept the excess power produced.

It cost us over 2.5 million yen to have the panels installed, and without the buy-back there would have been little incentive to install them without it. Utilities are trying to get out from under having to pay for the excess power and with the clout they hold (TEPCO and others) I wont be surprised to see the buy-backs stopping in other places as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Frungy:

" Green energy is a commercial venture. "

No, it is not. At this point in time, it entirely a political project, dependent on government subsidies, i.e. on ressources stolen from the real economiy.

The moment when green energy is financially viable, i.e. makes sense, it will become a commercial venture by itself, without the need of social engineering.

That really should be obvious, but apparently too many of prefer to live in a phantasy world.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

WilliBNov. 03, 2014 - 12:45PM JST

" Green energy is a commercial venture. "

No, it is not. At this point in time, it entirely a political project, dependent on government subsidies, i.e. on ressources stolen from the real economiy.

Utter bull. The price that energy companies are required to pay for FIT power from residential solar panels is 37 yen per unit (and the FIT rate is lower for non-residential sources).

Now you'll see some newspaper articles claiming this is ABOVE the regular rate... but the incorrectly use the 2011 pre-Fukushima energy prices (do those newspapers own stock in TEPCO? Two guesses.).

I went to the TEPCO website and their pricing can be as high as 54 yen per unit, plus they charge for just being connected, even if you use nothing (but if you use nothing the rate is halved... but leave even a single appliance plugged in and that won't happen, because it will draw some charge).

So, actually TEPCO (which complains it doesn't have enough power and is pushing for ANOTHER rate hike) would actually be making money off buying power from residences and reselling it at a higher rate.

Except that it actually costs them a LOT less than 54 yen per unit to produce power. Estimates are difficult, but a fair guess would be around 15 yen per unit once you factor in all costs (figure calculated from the TEPCO financial statements' profit margins assuming that energy is their primary income source).

So why big energy in Japan is refusing to play ball is simply that they earn less profit by buying energy from residences. Of course the residential power is green and the TEPCO power is mostly highly polluting coal and gas right now, so basically TEPCO is refusing to play ball at a tremendous cost to Japan's environment.

And this is why subsidies are justified, because TEPCO only counts the direct cost, the cost of production. The government must count the total cost, including the cost of cleaning up TEPCO's mess, the cost of medical bills for citizens, etc.

When you look at the big picture then the subsidies on getting residences to buy solar panels actually SAVE Japan money.

... but some people just aren't good at seeing the big picture.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

ifd66 ”a whopping 3 trillion yen would be added to electricity bills.“On the positive side this will make energy costs higher which will finally make people think more seriously about conserving it.

We run a small resort in Japan and I'm just appalled at the complete disregard many Japanese visitors have toward conserving energy. I'm honestly not being a "Japan Basher" when I say that the difference between our Japanese customers and those from other countries in basic energy conservation (turning off lights, fans, aircons, heaters etc.) is troubling. It's as if they don't seem to realize the crisis Japan is having at the moment in paying for it's energy needs, not to mention the critical state of the planet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Disillusioned

The Australian government has been paying half the installation costs for domestic solar panels for over a decade and, as a result, Australia is now approaching 50% renewable energy.

The different states have had different schemes over the past few years, with different rates and rebates for the panels. The result of this intake has been massive increases in electricity prices for those who can't afford or unable to fix solar panels to their homes. The power grid infrastructure is still obviously used, however, less people are using it and thus the cost of maintenance and upgrading is paid for by few people, thus at substantial cost to those few people. A$150/month for an electricity bill is a relatively cheap bill for a couple. If such schemes are not carefully thought out, Japan could easily find itself with the massive problems Australia has in this area.

I am not sure when you get 50% renewable energy from - I believe the figure is closer to 10%.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

i just hope the fusion reactor that is promised to give enormous amount of energy becomes a reality in our lifetime. Solar panels, Wind/Water Turbines, Geothermal and other natural sources are not all the time very efficient and is very space demanding. Considering how they make those materials too. At least we're on the right direction now eliminating dangerous and pollution causing power plants. I wonder when Tesla's dream will come true...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just copy from an article. I am in /southern Nevada so don't know snowy area.

As it turns out, solar panels can be very effective in a cooler climate. In fact, solar panels can be more efficient in a cold climate than in hotter places with stronger sun, such as Arizona or California. "Solar panels actually work more efficiently in a cooler climate because heat degrades electricity," the Sunlight Solar blog says.

What about snow? Heavy snow can cause the panels to shut off and stop producing power but most panels are dark enough to retain heat. This can help the snow melt quicker. And when the sun comes out after a snowfall, that can give an extra power spike from the sun reflecting off of the snow on the ground. Snow buildup is usually not a huge problem, as the panels sit on an angle making the snow slide off. Check out Sunlight Solar's post about snow on your roof.

Don't forget, your total energy generation is calculated over the course of a year. This means that the days that you overproduce energy will make up for days with poor weather.

So, if you've been thinking about transitioning to solar but have been wary because you live in a cooler climate, maybe it's time to give it a second thought!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Frungy - "On hold" means "never accept". "On hold" could be 1 day or it could be 10 years, and there's no incentive for the big power companies to let them in, because it would mean less profit.

Green energy is a commercial venture. You seem to be confusing "green" with "commie". You're in error.

No, "on hold" does not mean "never accept". That is your opinion, not mine.

And no, I'm not confusing "green" with "commie". Again, that is your opinion, and not mine. You appear to have made the error.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichi,

First the power utilities and the supporters of nuclear energy, claim that renewable energy, solar power, can only generate a tiny amount of the total power demand but then claim there are too many solar panels. Reaction against the FIT is the real reason why and if people have committed investments because of a previous decision by the gov't then it needs to step in and ensure those promises are kept otherwise how do we trust what it states.

First, the problem with solar is that it can generate large power spikes over a short period of time, because of clouds covering and then uncovering the sun. Spikes are bad.

Second, yes, it is a pity that people bought into this because of the FIT. However, it must be realized that they were buying solar/wind/etc. to get guaranteed rates for electricity that would be paid for by the consumer, rich or poor. The poor can't afford it. Someone who cries about loosing out on taking money from the poor doesn't evoke much sympathy in me.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Star-viking

The so called peaks in power supply from solar energy are not has much of a problem as the utilities claim and other countries with higher levels of solar power don't seem to be affected by it. If the peaks are a problem then its easy to fit regulators to those systems so the system temporarily disconnects if there's a huge peak.

FIT are affective for increasing the number of much needed capital investment into an area of power generation which was neglected over the decades in favour of nuclear energy. The country put all their energy eggs in the one basket.

The power charges are regulated by central gov't. The poor are not paying for those FIT's. Like all people if they use power they pay the charges. You are using a straw man argument instead of clearly stating you don't support renewable energy and have always favored nuclear power.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Zichi,

the Fraunhofer Institute, which is a big researcher in the renewable energy field, gave the following as the worldwide percentage of total Solar PV installations (134GWp) at the end of 2013:

Germany: 27% Italy: 12% Rest of Europe: 19% China & Taiwan: 13% Japan: 10% North America: 11% Rest of the World: 8%

Ref p13 http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/downloads-englisch/pdf-files-englisch/photovoltaics-report-slides.pdf

Other countries with higher levels of solar power are either in a continental grid, or have a small PV in comparison to their electricity production. For example, China and the US have 5 and 4 times Japan's electricity production.

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_electricity_production

Japan has a large PV sector, with a fragmented grid which is divided into two large sections, with no access to outside electricity grids.

The power charges are regulated by central gov't. The poor are not paying for those FIT's. Like all people if they use power they pay the charges. You are using a straw man argument instead of clearly stating you don't support renewable energy and have always favored nuclear power.

Really? So when the electricity bills go up to cover the massive cost of the utilities having to buy Renewables at inflated rates the poor are exempt?

As for what I favour, I favour Nuclear, Tidal, Geothermal, Wind, Solar, and other power sources. I do not favour Oil, Gas and Coal. However, this free-for-all rush for FIT money, with no apparent central planning is crazy. If governements want to build large power projects it is best that they should fund them through taxation - that way the burden can be equitably shared.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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