Japan Solar Power

Japan's Solar Renaissance Underway

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted July 13, 2011

Over the past few months I've been telling you about Japan's new energy agenda, which includes a phasing out of nuclear and a phasing-in of renewables. Specifically solar.

Well today, we got word that Japan's third largest mobile carrier, Softbank, is building an experimental solar power plant on the island of Hokkaido this year.

According to Softbank President Masayoshi Son, strong support from local governments will likely result in more than 10 solar power plants.

There has been no word as to which solar manufacturer will get the deal, but most expect the contracts to go to a Japanese manufacturer. Most likely Sharp (PINK SHEETS:SHCAY), Kyocera (NYSE:KYO), Mitsubishi (PINK SHEETS:MIELY) or Panasonic Corp (NYSE:PC).

Interestingly, today's news comes on the same day that Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan told reporters that the Fukushima crisis convinced him that the country should wean itself from nuclear, and eventually have no nuclear power plants at all.

I don't know if that's actually going to happen. But you can be certain that these kinds of comments will make it much easier for solar developers to get some major deals done over the next year or two.

Outside of Japanese manufacturers, Suntech Power (NYSE:STP) and Yingli (NYSE:YGE) will also benefit from increased solar power activity in Japan.