(Photo: AFP/Getty Images from the AIST display of new, flexible solar cells)
80 percent of newly-built homes will be equipped with solar power systems by 2030? Sounds good to me. Japan plans to provide a subsidy of about 200,000 yen (just under $2,000) to households that buy a solar power system to promote its use and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Nikkei. The subsidy represents 10 percent of the cost of a standard solar power system, which is about 2 million yen:
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry hopes the subsidy will help stimulate mass production of such solar power systems and lower costs. The subsidy payment could be introduced as early as the current fiscal year to end March 2009, it said. Home-use solar power systems in Japan now generate a combined total of 1.4 million kilowatts of electricity, the daily said.
In June, the government set a target of boosting solar power generation by 10 times from current levels by 2020 and 40 times by 2030.
http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-GreenBusiness/idUSTRE48R0UB20080928Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) is at the forefront of research on solar energy. AIST president Dr. Hiroyuki Yoshikawa notes:
Our society has reached a consensus that the conflict between the continued development of industries and the preservation of the earth's environment must be solved by mobilizing the forces of science and technology. Achievement of a sustainable society has become a common issue for humankind. The sustainable society, however, cannot be achieved by scientific research and technological development alone. It must be accomplished by changing the human activities we engage in everyday. It can be achieved only by transforming the actual industrial activities.
Last month, AIST announed its new flexible CIGS Photovoltaic Cell with an energy conversion efficiency of 17.7%, noting that the growing concerns about environmental problems and increasing crude oil prices has led to an increased interest in power generation using renewable energy such as photovoltaics and other new energy resources.
The AIST, Tokki Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation have developed these colorful, flexible and light weight film shaped solar batteries. Is this what you need for your house? I have a feeling some creative designers and artists could do a lot better with these fun-in-the-sun materials!
More about solar cells:
15 Photovoltaics Solar Power Innovations You Must See: TreeHugger
Juice Bag: First Flexible Solar Backpack
DIY Solar Panels
Japan's First Solar Powered Condo
Japanese Solar Photovoltaic Market Grows 40+%/Year
Written by Martin Frid at greenz.jp