Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association told Reuters that over 20,000 households have recently applied for a ¥70,000 ($700) subsidy per kW of solar panel equipment. "Failing"? I don't agree: things are looking more bright here than ever.
If you got $700 to install PV panels, would you complain?
What environmentalists here never fail to mention is how Japan's government suddenly pulled the plug on PV subsidies back in March, 2006. Big mistake. Consistent policies and continued support, even if they are kept at a low level, are crucial if you want lots of people to join. Now, Reuters notes that homeowners are concerned about making big investments, especially as solar power is expected to become cheaper and more efficient in coming years:
"People say they would rather wait until the cost halves in 3 to 5 years, which is what the government has forecast," said Etsuko Akiba, head of media relations at the Nippon Association of Consumer Specialists.
PV Japan, a major solar fair in June, 2009, will be the main event here for the global solar-photovoltaic industry co-organized by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) and Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA). Japan Council for Renewable Energy is among the sponsors.