Read here a report on how Japan, by establishing government subsidies and by ensuring a fixed high price for solar energy has managed to install solar systems corresponding to two nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in Japan have now reached the 10 gigawatts (GW) milestone for cumulative PV capacity. Japan is only the fifth country to reach this mark, after Germany, Italy, China and the U.S. Both the U.S. and China reached 10 GW of solar PV within the past few months, according to new research featured in the NPD Solarbuzz Asia Pacific PV Market Quarterly Report.
The First GW PV Country in 2004
This new landmark for the Japanese solar industry comes nine years after Japan was crowned the first country to break through 1 GW of cumulative solar PV, back in 2004.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) launched a subsidy program for residential PV systems as far back as 1994. Initially, the subsidy covered 50 percent of the cost of PV systems. The budget for FY 1994 was 2 billion Yen.
Until 2005, Japan had the largest installed PV capacity of any country in the world. This early leadership position was achieved through a well-managed set of programs, coupled with attractive market incentives.
The early growth of the Japanese PV market was a strong factor in establishing Japanese manufacturing as the first dominant force in the solar PV industry. Manufacturers that benefited from the first phase of government initiatives include several of the companies that are now leaders in the domestic PV industry revival: Sharp, Sanyo and Kyocera.