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Japan Announces Action Plan to Promote Solar Energy

Post Time:Nov 14,2008Classify:Industry NewsView:359

Four Japanese ministries jointly announced the "Action Plan to Increase the Introduction of Solar Power Generation" on Nov 11, 2008.

The announcement was made by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and Ministry of the Environment.

The Japanese government aims to increase the amount of solar cells (in terms of electricity generated) used in Japan to ten times the fiscal 2005 level in 2020 and to forty times in 2030 and to lower the price of solar cell systems to about half the current level in three to five years. The plan was written in the "Action Plan for a Low-carbon Society," which was approved in a Cabinet meeting in July 2008.

The government announced the new plan to prompt efforts of relevant parties toward these goals, it said.

The action plan calls for suppliers to improve solar cell materials and module technologies, reduce the weight of solar cell systems, make the installation easier and develop accumulator technologies that can be used in combination with solar cells.

METI and MLIT have hosted a council, the Council for Promoting the Diffusion of Solar Houses, for cell manufacturers and housing manufacturers since July 2008. Members of the council have exchanged their opinions and information at three meetings thus far. The council will aim to formulate guidelines for solar cell system installation, develop measures for testing and evaluation and make them international standards while strengthening the partnership.

The Japanese government will grant subsidies to developers of accumulator technologies through the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). About ¥3 billion (approx US$31 million) is planned for the subsidies in the fiscal 2009 budget, it said.

Furthermore, the action plan suggests granting a subsidy for introducing solar cells in homes and providing information on precedents to owners of public facilities such as roads, railways, ports and airports to promote the adoption of solar power. Also, it urges academic organizations to make use of photovoltaics for environmental education.

Source: Tech-On! Author: shangyi

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