TITLE

SUNNY SIDE UP

AUTHOR(S)
Itoi, Kay
PUB. DATE
July 2004
SOURCE
Newsweek (Pacific Edition);7/26/2004 (Pacific Edition), Vol. 144 Issue 4, p40
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article examines the development of solar energy in Japan. Japan is a big economy with no natural energy resources. The country spends billions importing oil. That's why "it's natural to long for alternative power sources," says Takashi Tomita, who, as head of the solar-power business for Japanese electronics giant Sharp, is the country's top solar-power engineer. In 1993 Japan embarked on an ambitious program to make so-called new energy sources--including solar power--approximately 3 percent of Japan's energy mix. The Japanese government has spent 123 billion yen ($1.1 billion) between 1997 and 2004 on subsidies for solar panels on top of residential houses. About 50,000 Japanese homes installed solar panels in 2003, up 30 percent from the previous year. The government largesse has made Japan's solar industry the world's most vibrant; from 1997 to 2003 it grew 90 percent. The country's famed electronics manufacturers compete fiercely to build the most advanced and efficient solar panels. Sharp captured 27 percent of the world market for solar panels in 2003, and other Japanese giants like Kyocera, Mitsubishi Electric and Sanyo Electric are also fighting for a piece of the pie. Japan now produces half the world's solar-power output.
ACCESSION #
13908822

 

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