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Japan Goes Green — And Gets Oversupply

The Associated Press reports that “traumatized by the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl and encouraged by the highest rates for renewable energy in the world, Japan has been undergoing a green boom. It’s now rapidly turning into a fiasco as the cost proves prohibitive and utilities anticipate putting some nuclear reactors — shuttered since the March 2011 Fukushima disaster — back online. The unfolding green glut in Japan echoes similar experiences in Germany and Spain.”  

“The number of applications for solar facilities with Kyushu Electric jumped to 72,000 in March, about the same for the entire previous year. People were trying to beat the April 1 lowering of the government-set tariff that utilities pay renewable-energy producers to 30 cents a kilowatt hour from 34 cents. The regular cost of electricity in Japan is about 21 cents per kilowatt hour.”  

“If all the planned solar panels in Japan were installed, their capacity would equal 8 percent of overall energy demand. At the 30-cent tariff, a whopping $30 billion would be added to electricity bills.”

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