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Asia Report: In Japan, the Search for Energy Solutions

With the political situation more settled after the resignation of Prime Minister Naoto Kan in August, Japan is now getting down to the business of forging its energy future. According to the nation's trade minister, a new energy panel, which met for the first time last week, "will probe a road Japan will take over the next 100 or 200 years." Will anti-nuclear sentiment in the country continue to drive the debate toward the implementation of renewable energy? And which energy sectors are best positioned to make inroads under a new policy?

Japan Takes Steps to Revise Energy Plan
Divided Japan Starts Energy Policy Debate


IN THE NEWS

‘The Alternative Nobel’: Huang Ming, a China resident known as “The Solar King" for his achievements in the field, was awarded the 2011 Right Livelihood Award late last week. Huang set up Solar Valley in the city of Dezhou in eastern Shandong province, an area composed of a solar thermal manufacturing facility, a solar museum, a demonstration area for solar architecture and a solar testing center.

Jinko reopening: Three weeks after shutting down amid protests over environmental issues, Jinko Solar is planning to reopen its China PV manufacturing facility this week.

Subsidies and Alleged Violations: The U.S. government is increasingly looking like it may take a hard-line approach against Chinese companies over subsidies and trade practices. The results could broadly impact the clean energy markets.

China Biomass Acquisition: China Recycling Energy Corp. announced it expanded its waste-to-energy project portfolio in a deal with Shenqiu Yuneng Thermal Power involving a set of 12 MW capacity power generation system. With the acquisition, CREC now has 13 waste-to-energy projects in operation totaling 133 MW and two waste-to-energy projects under construction totaling 55 MW.


EMERGING MARKETS

Summary of Sophisticated Sri Lankan Tariffs: In 2010, Sri Lanka launched a sophisticated program of feed-in tariffs. Sri Lanka now has some of the highest feed-in tariffs for wind, hydro and biomass in the developing world.

China and EVs: According to a recent report from Pike Research, China will be the leading market for EVs in the Asia Pacific region by 2015. The cleantech market intelligence firm believes that the Chinese market will represent almost half of the region’s total sales by 2015.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Transparent Market: In a trade show in Tokyo, Japan’s 3M displays its see-through, flexible solar technology that can be applied to windows. 

New Backbone for Solar?: Research done by MIT and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan, and published by the journal Science, shows that graphene, a form of carbon based on sheets that are only one atom thick, could be adopted into solar technology.

Solar Education: India classrooms could soon see a $50 solar-powered tablet that promises to bring high-tech education to areas that lack electricity.


BY THE NUMBERS

Shifting Solar Market 

15.8: Size in gigawatts of current global solar market for grid-connected systems in 2010.
37.5: Size in gigawatts for grid-connected solar by 2016, a rise that will be dominated by growth China, India and Japan.
$65.4 billion: Revenue for solar industry in 2016. The figure shows just $1 billion in predicted revenue growth from 2010 despite the sharp increase in capacity.


QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Wind Giant’s Next Step

"The Indian wind-power market is likely to grow robustly from the current 3 GW annually to 6 GW annually, going forward, given the country's positive regulatory framework."
— Recent report by Edelweiss Research, which says Suzlon will focus on India and China markets.


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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

September 26-Oct 3, 2011 Asia Report: Race for Innovation, Dominance and Capital
September 19-26, 2011 Asia Report: Subtle Signs of Energy Shift
September 12-19, 2011 Asia Report: Wind Espionage and Solar Riot
September 5-12, 2011 Asia Report: Will Region Maintain Its Edge?

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