Jeff Horwich: Attention U.S. solar industry: Japan is now open for business. The government just launched billions in subsidies to promote solar energy.
From the Marketplace sustainability desk, here’s Scott Tong.
Scott Tong: It’s like Walmart the day after Thanksgiving: The Japan solar rush is on. Tokyo’s new subsidy pays homeowners and companies a high price for generating and selling solar energy. The program lasts 20 years.
How high a price? Double what the Germans pay, triple the Chinese price. Nathanial Bullard is with Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Nathaniel Bullard: With the Japanese market offering such generous terms right now, it’s the potential for a real boom.
He thinks Japan’s market could leapfrog Italy for second largest in the world behind China. For consumers, a big new market stirs innovation for the world. Bullard thinks in a decade, we’ll build entire electricity systems from renewable sources. No grid.
Bullard: The question will be, not where do I connect to a conventional grid of the sort that you find in the United States and Europe, but rather, do I connect at all?
For now, solar companies from Germany and China compete with domestic firms in Japan. But the Americans will follow into the booming market. Land of the rising … you know.
I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.