Japan's post-Fukushima dreams of a renewable energy future could be turning more into just that - dreams - as the government threatens to close down many of the country's delayed, large scale photovoltaic projects.
A number of groups that won approval to build solar farms after the March 2011 nuclear meltdowns have struggled to even begin construction, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported. Some of them are floundering in their efforts to secure not only funds but also land -- solar requires a lot more acreage per kilowatt than other energy sources like nuclear.
On top of that, builders are simply stalling in anticipation that the price of solar equipment will decline.
You could say that the Three L's of land, loot and laggards has stalled solar. Whatever you call it, the government has had enough, and is now considering withdrawing licenses. Bloomberg reported:
"The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans hearings as early as March with developers of 672 solar ventures approved in fiscal 2012...Permits for the plants, totaling about 3 gigawatts in capacity, will be revoked if developers haven’t secured sites and equipment by the time of the hearings."
The country is divided on whether to restart nuclear. Many citizens remain staunchly against it, others favor a return. Tokyo this month voted in a mayor who supports the pro-nuclear policies of the Japanese government elected in December, 2012, after the shutdowns.