Review article on solar FiTs: success in Germany versus threat from nuclear lobby in Japan. “Last year, according to figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (link), investment in new generation capacity from renewable energy sources (excluding hydro) totaled USD 187 billion, outpacing the USD 157 billion new investment in natural gas, oil, and coal-fired generating capacity.
….The FIT cost the Germans EURO 3.2 billion in 2008, but the German Federal Ministry for the Environment calculates that the FIT saved Germany EURO 7.8 billion in fossil and nuclear fuels and the public health and other external costs from carbon emissions, air and water pollution, and the like by EURO 9.2 billion. …. it has worked far above expectations in Germany for the past 10 years. Germany set a 2010 target of 12.5 percent share of renewable energy in electric generation in 2000. They surpassed that goal in late 2007 with 15.1 percent share. …. since the German’s have launched their FIT program, approximately 35 to 40 counties have followed suit and implemented their own.
…. Japan introduced a FIT in November of 2009… This FIT is encouraging a rapidly expanding volume of renewables investment inside Japan from co-ops and farmers, households and local communities through to such heavyweights as Softbank, NTT, and Marubeni as well as overseas giants including Germany’s Siemens and China’s number 2 PV producer JA Solar. …. The real risk in Japan is that prices will be set too low so that little deployment is encouraged. This would blunt the incentives of the world’s third-largest economy to lead the energy transition, at the same time driving down its own power costs and externalities as well as those for billions elsewhere, especially in Asia and Africa. This risk is due to the nuclear village having managed to get its people named to the committee that is to set prices. As Japan’s Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) warns in a November 24 press release, these individuals include Shindo Kosei, Executive VP of Nippon Steel and head of Keidanren’s Global Environment Division. ….This ongoing fight over structuring the FIT is part of the larger fight between renewables and nuclear as the pillar of Japan’s power economy, a fight the November 18 New York Times understands to be a “contest over the future of Japan itself”.”