Japan opens solar energy parks

Jul 01, 2012
A large-scale solar power plant opens at a startup ceremony in Kyoto. Japan opened several solar energy parks on Sunday as a new law came into force requiring companies to purchase renewable energy at a fixed price in a push for alternatives to nuclear power.

Japan opened several solar energy parks on Sunday as a new law came into force requiring companies to purchase renewable energy at a fixed price in a push for alternatives to nuclear power.

The openings come on the same day engineers began refiring an atomic reactor, despite growing public protests in the aftermath of meltdowns at , ending nearly two months in which Japan was nuclear-free.

A new solar centre opened in Kyoto in western Japan, while various municipalities also started up installations able to provide energy for hundreds of thousands of households.

Japanese telecommunications Softbank chief Masayoshi Son, opposed to nuclear energy since a powerful earthquake and tsunami last year that crippled reactor cooling systems, said it had plans for 11 solar or windpower centres in Japan.

The push to invest in is a mark of Japan's search for alternatives to nuclear power, as 49 reactors out of 50 in the country have been shut down for safety checks and amid growing public protests.

The new law that took effect on Sunday requiring power companies to purchase all renewable energy at a fixed tariff is aimed at encouraging firms to pursue sustainable initiatives.

The government estimates the power provided by renewable energy this year in Japan will attain 2,500 , the equivalent of two medium-sized nuclear reactors.

Explore further: Switch on sunlight for a brighter future

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japanese PM pledges 10 mn solar-powered homes

May 25, 2011

Japan will have ten million solar-powered homes, Prime Minister Naoto Kan pledged Wednesday, as the country makes a major push in coming years towards renewable energy following its nuclear crisis. ...

Japan's Mitsui in quake-zone solar plan: report

Jul 06, 2011

Japanese trading house Mitsui plans to build large-scale solar power plants with the capacity to supply 30,000 households in the tsunami-hit northeast, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

Japan's Softbank announces solar power plan

May 25, 2011

Japanese telecom company Softbank is to work with local authorities in a drive towards renewable energy, its president said on Wednesday after announcing the construction of 10 large solar power plants.

Japan to go nuclear-free for first time since 1970

May 04, 2012

Japan is set to go without nuclear energy for the first time since 1970 from Saturday, when the last operating reactor shuts down for maintenance, heightening fears of a looming power crunch this summer.

Recommended for you

Switch on sunlight for a brighter future

2 hours ago

Imagine sitting in a windowless room yet having the feeling of the sun shining on your face. This unique experience is now possible thanks to the COELUX EU-funded project which recreates the physical and ...

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

18 hours ago

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

Apr 23, 2014

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

Finalists named in Bloomberg European city contest

Apr 23, 2014

Amsterdam wants to create an online game to get unemployed young people engaged in finding jobs across Europe. Schaerbeek, Belgium, envisions using geothermal mapping to give households personalized rundowns of steps to save ...

Bloomberg invests $5M in solar-powered lamp

Apr 22, 2014

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation has announced a $5 million investment in an artsy-looking solar-powered lamp designed for use in off-grid populations in Africa.

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2012
Good for them. It's always astonishing how fast Japan can rebuild after a natural desaster (you should google pics from before the Kobe earthquake and just one year later. It's freaky).

From what I have seen at conferences there are really only two types of research that they do. Either it's 'feasibility studies' (i.e. : "who's at fault if we do X and X doesn't work") or they go completely overkill on a subject (I've seen them construct a full exoskeleton for a technician to stand in and operate - just to have a haptic interface for moving a biopsy needle 2cm back and forth).

If they go into 'full overkill' mode they'll be self sufficient in no time.
not rated yet Jul 02, 2012
I applaud these efforts, although I feel they are more for show than for practicality. Their population density verses available land means that they have no other option than fission.

Even our trusty fallback (unfortunately), coal, is impractical and way too expensive for japan because they have to import all that they burn.

Here's to hoping that Japan ushers in the next wave of hyper-efficient passively safe fission reactors.
4 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2012
Their population density verses available land means that they have no other option than fission.

More than 70 percent of Japan is mountainous/forest regions which is not densely inhabited (because it isn't fit for agriculture). Only the coastal regions - and especialy Tokyo - are very densely populated (Tokyo alone houses about 10 percent of the population).

I think they may be able to plaster a few mountains with solar. And don't forget: It's an island. So off-shore windfarms and wave energy should be abundantly available. Heck, they've even been dabbling in off-shore solar.
4 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2012
Off shore is cool. I'm not down with destroying tons of mountain habitat if it isn't necessary.

More news stories

New breast cancer imaging method promising

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Research proves nanobubbles are superstable

The intense research interest in surface nanobubbles arises from their potential applications in microfluidics and the scientific challenge for controlling their fundamental physical properties. One of the ...

Using antineutrinos to monitor nuclear reactors

When monitoring nuclear reactors, the International Atomic Energy Agency has to rely on input given by the operators. In the future, antineutrino detectors may provide an additional option for monitoring. ...