After Fukushima, Japan gets green boom — and glut
By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer
Updated 12:19 am, Thursday, October 30, 2014
TOKYO (AP) — Like other Japanese who were banking on this country’s sweeping move toward clean energy, Junichi Oba is angry.
Oba, a consultant, had hoped to supplement his future retirement income in a guilt-free way and invested $200,000 in a 50 kilowatt solar-panel facility, set up earlier this year in a former rice paddy near his home in southwestern Japan.
But Kyushu Electric Power Co., the utility to which he must sell his electricity, has recently placed on hold all new applications for getting on its grid. Four other utilities have made the same announcement and two more announced partial restrictions.
The utilities say they can’t accommodate the flood of newcomers to the green energy business, throwing in doubt the future of Japan’s up-to-now aggressive strategy on renewable energy. Another challenge is that supplies of power from sources such as solar are not reliable enough or easily stored.
“Kyushu electric shock is spreading in a domino effect,” said Oba. “It’s like fraud on the national level, with utility companies and the government in cahoots with each other.” Continue reading After Fukushima, Japan gets green boom — and glut