Japanese firms eye large-scale solar power market - report
Aug 1, 2011 - Many Japanese companies are turning their attention to the solar power sector, drawing plans for large-scale projects, motivated by the government's efforts to support the growth of the renewable energy sector, Nikkei writes.
Japan is working on a bill to require utilities to purchase all power produced from renewable energy sources. Such a move would allow market entrants to more easily recoup their investments, the newspaper writes.
Japanese solar power plants builder West Holdings Corp (JSD:1407) is among the companies attracted by the domestic market for solar installations of above 1 MW. It is planning to develop a 1.5-MW facility in Fukuoka Prefecture, to come on stream in the summer of 2012. The project calls for an investment of JPY 600 million (USD 7.8m/EUR 5.4m) to JPY 700 million.
Wind power company Eurus Energy Holdings Corp is also planning to enter the solar power market. The company intends to build several plants with capacities of 10 MW to 20 MW in Japan. It already runs solar power facilities in South Korea and other countries, and is currently building a 45-MW solar park in the US.
Masayoshi Son, president of Japanese mobile operator Softbank Corp (TYO:9984), is planning to build 10 large-scale solar power plants across the country in cooperation with local governments. In Son's view, Japan can reach 20% share of renewables in the national power mix by 2020.
Tokio Marine Asset Management and Japanese Mitsui & Co (TYO:8031) intend to establish a JPY-10-billion fund to back the construction of 10 or more large-scale solar power facilities in Japan. Each of the installations, to be built, operated and maintained by Mitsui, will have a capacity of between 1 MW and 2 MW. Their output will be sold to local utilities.