The Japanese government has a long history of promoting new energy sources – from supporting research and development, to creating programs that drive adoption. Early last year, the Japanese government unveiled its action plan for achieving a low-carbon society: with its largest-ever economic stimulus program – dedicating $55 billion over the next 5 years. The plan, which includes a huge boost for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, is aimed at making Japan a global leader in the development and implementation of core clean energy technologies like solar energy and electric cars.
Japan has long been a pioneer in the solar industry — the first commercial solar panels in Japan were manufactured over 30 years ago. The Japanese government was also early to recognize the potential for solar and set up incentives to promote adoption, establishing the Sunshine Project in 1974 to help Japan become less dependent on imported oil.
Japan is the world’s second largest market for solar, behind Germany, and this growth has accelerated largely due to government initiatives and subsidies.