Japan has unveiled a plan to boost clean energy investment, as it seeks to lower its dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear and build up its fledgling renewable market.

 Under the country’s newly-approved feed-in-tariff scheme, electric power companies will be required from July 1 to buy all renewable energy generated by qualifying suppliers, at a higher rate than initially expected, providing a strong incentive for businesses to invest in clean energy facilities.

Solar panels
The government is abolishing the ceiling on the amount of energy from renewable sources power companies will be required to buy, in a move that will transform solar power generation from a side business for companies generating more electricity than they can consume to a viable business on its own. At present, electric power companies are only required to buy excess electricity generated by renewable sources and only up to a maximum of 500 kilowatt hours.

The decision to create a guaranteed market for clean energy is expected to make Japan a major market for companies in the solar power industry, including panel makers such as China’s Suntech and Japan’s Sharp.

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