Posted by: Harish Rajpal | June 6, 2012

Financial Post | Business

Solar power firms are betting that the nuclear crisis in Japan will become a game-changer for renewable energy in the world’s third largest economy, with new foreign entrants such as Canadian Solar looking to go toe-to-toe there with some of the biggest utilities in Asia.

They will be given a big helping hand next month when the government introduces a generous subsidy for renewable energy via a so-called feed-in tariff (FIT), in a bid to encourage alternative energy sources, which currently only generate about 1% of power in Japan.

The FIT, which excludes large hydro-electric schemes, will require utilities to buy electricity generated by renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal heat at a premium for 20 years. Costs will be passed on to consumers through higher power bills.

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