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Someone with some clout is going to break the stranglehold on energy policy by the Japanese utilities.

Japan's Richest Man Challenges Nuclear Future With Nationwide Solar Plans


Billionaire Masayoshi Son has a track record in taking on monopolies after building a business that opened up the nation's telecommunications industry. Now he aims to shake up Japan's power utilities after the worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

Son, the 53-year-old chief executive officer of Softbank Corp. (9984), plans to build solar farms to generate electricity with support from at least 33 of Japan's 47 prefectures. In return, he's asking for access to transmission networks owned by the 10 regional utilities and an agreement they buy his electricity.
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One option would be to raise funds to invest about 80 billion yen into building 10 solar farms, each with about 20 megawatts of capacity, said Softbank spokeswoman Makiko Ariyama.

The combined 200 megawatts of power capacity will provide more than 10 times the 19 megawatts in total produced at eight photovoltaic power stations run in Japan by the regional utilities as of June 9. Japan produced 988 terawatt hours of electricity in the year ended March 31.
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Solar plants using 20 percent of unused agricultural land in Japan can have the generation capacity of about 50 gigawatts, almost matching that of Tokyo Electric, Son said.

I suspect this push will add strength to the wind power efforts already underway by Mitsubishi, Harokasan and others. In that regard, i don't believe we'll see the opposition to ridgeline wind turbines that we see in other lands, such as France and the UK.


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jun 15th, 2011 at 08:23:21 AM EST

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