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Date: 26-09-13

Japan saying no to nuclear and big yes to solar

After the disastrous nuclear power plant damage caused by the tsunami in 2011, Japan is getting away from nuclear power generation and installing more and more Solar PV power plants to fill the gap in demand and generation. Japan has done excellent research in developing solar photovoltaic cells of high-efficiency. Panasonic, Sharp and Kyocera are some of the leading companies based in Japan who are leading in solar photovoltaic research. Kyocera has announced the supplying of 3.6 MW of solar modules for “Kizuna” Solar Park in Tsunami-hit Miyagi Prefecture, Japan .

The word kizuna means “bond“ in Japanese, and has become a symbol of the bonds of friendship and solidarity which the Japanese people and those around the world showed for each other following the earthquake and tsunami which ravaged northeastern Japan in 2011.

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Here below is more analysis provided by Trendforce on Japan's shift in energy options:
Ever since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, most of the nuclear power plants have been suspended, which has lowered the usage of nuclear power from 33% in 2010 to 2.15% in 2012. The power shortage caused by the decline of nuclear power has been filled by thermal power generation. According to the statistical data, the top ten power companies have significantly increased the usage of thermal power generation from 59.05% in 2010 to 89.82% in 2012, which caused Japan to import large quantities of coal, oil, natural gas and other fuels.

Besides, from power supply and demand aspect, Japan’s supply and demand ratio has remained at around 1.05 in the past three years. However, based on the total amount of power generated in 2010, the supply and demand ratio has dropped to 0.753 after deducting the amount of nuclear power generated. In order to solve the insufficient power supply problems caused by the suspension of nuclear power plant after 2011, increasing the usage of renewable energy has become another solution for the Japanese government and manufacturers, aside from the solution to adopt more thermal power generation.

According to the data, Japan’s top ten power companies have purchased much more power generated from solar energy since 2008. The annual growth rate increased from 9.25% in 2008 to 45.89% in 2011. As for wind energy, although the annual growth rate has been fluctuating, power purchased by power companies has also continued to increase. On the other hand, according to EnergyTrend’s statistics, the amount of grid-connected installations in Japan has continued to increase. In addition, it will take at least half a year for nuclear power plants to meet the security check request and re-activation safety requirements and it would be difficult to project the time needed to receive the re-activation approval from the local government, thus demand in the Japanese market have obviously gone upward this year.

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