Eco Links For June, 2014

Energy issues continue to be of major importance in Japan as no nuclear reactors are online and we seem to do OK without them, even as summer gets hotter... Freak rains and even hail storms in June...

Get enough water to avoid fatigue and - do take it easy.

Japan's Sharp Corporation returned to the top as the World's largest shipper of solar PV modules, according to IEEJ (June 27, 2014) PDF.

PV-Tech notes that the ratio of domestically produced modules sold in Japan remains high at 71% of the total shipments surveyed.

Japanese solar shipments rising, along with involvement of foreign players

Shipments of solar cells and modules have increased by over 100% in Japan on a year-on-year basis, including an increasing presence by foreign companies, according to a survey conducted by the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA).
The latest figures, which cover 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, show that both module and cell shipments increased vastly - around two-fold in the case of modules.
Within the domestic market alone, module shipments were up 205% on a year-on-year comparison basis and stood at 8,625MW; cell delivery was up 135%, standing at 2,978MW, JPEA found.
Traditionally, the Japanese domestic market for all goods, including solar cells and modules tends to favour high-quality products with Japanese branding. However, due in part to limited capacity at Japanese manufacturing facilities, the market share held by foreign companies is steadily increasing, a conclusion which the latest JPEA figures would appear to back up.

Source EE Times

And if you really want to consider what it all means, here is a blogger providing data (J) that shows Japan is indeed doing fine without its nuclear reactors. Yes, it costs to import gas and coal, but that is more due to the Yen (and Abenomics).

With gasoline now reaching into the 160-170 Yen/liter range, Japanese drivers are still paying less than say, drivers in Sweden or Norway. Compare gasoline prices here (June 23, 2014)!

Interesting graph here about the efficiency of PV research cells, showing Sharp doing rather well. Other serious players include Boeing Spectrolab and Fraunhofer. Sanyo, Sumitomo and Mitsubishi also on the way up. Expect a lot more from these companies as they continue their research and development.

And if I had all the money in the world, what would I do with it? JR thinks we should all be hoping to ride their new luxury train, designed for those with no worries in the world:

Luxury Launches:

If you’re one of the many who dreamt of riding in a Ferrari but didn’t think they could any time soon, your thoughts might just change with this news. In the spring of 2017, Japan is getting a new luxury train. And Ferrari designer Ken Okuyama is the one lending aesthetic vision to it. Now before you say what??? We’re talking large glass-paneled windows and high ceilings. And yes, in the same breath as “train”!


Pandabonium said…
There are solar panels appearing on rooftops all around Kashima City. But beyond rooftops many parcels of land which had been vacant lots or otherwise underused are now being covered over in solar panels.

I recently got together with my daughter and family from Maui, Hawaii. They tell me some people on Maui have put lots of solar panels on their homes and now drive Nissan Leaf cars to work, so they save more in gasoline costs than the car payment amounts to and generate enough energy to provide their own car's power needs as well.

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