Posts Tagged ‘Fukushima’

13 April

News Update on Feed-In-Tariffs


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

Solar Wind Power image (credit: Todd Spink, wind farm near Montfort, Wisconsin) NREL

Once again, our friend from the wind persuasion, Paul Gipe & ILSR-John Farrell are keeping us abreast of Feed-In-Tariffs

News on Feed-in Tariffs

April 9, 2014,   by Craig Morris: Even when the foreign press reports on the correct numbers, a lot of the terms can still be slightly misleading. Today, we focus on a report at Reuters to help the international audience understand the issues.

April 4, 2014,   by Linda Archibald: The man who initiated the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) concept says Malaysia should increase the quota for renewable energy (RE) for its own FiT programme to create enough mass to face potential roadblocks ahead.

April 4, 2014,The Strategy makes clear DECC want this market to grow over the next few years, so it will be key to change the feed-in tariff reduction triggers and the upper tariff band to enable this. We can fix the barriers, but the policy framework must allow the growth we all want to see.

April 4, 2014,The use of the fixed feed‐in systems that have so far been successful in minimizing financing costs is prohibited from January 2015 for all but small installations. This shift to a “market premium” is likely to increase financing costs and might have negative effects on the efficiency of short‐term markets and effectiveness of forward markets.

April 3, 2014,   by Craig Morris: While the German government does not specifically plan to change the design of feed-in tariffs for PV this year, the application of the renewables surcharge to solar power directly consumed does change things considerably.

April 3, 2014,   by John Parnel: End-market demand was said to have been driven by Japan and the UK, which combined accounted for more than one-third of demand globally as well as setting new quarterly records for PV deployed.

March 28, 2014,   by Paul Gipe: In a potentially far-reaching decision, the European Commission has decided that the French system of feed-in tariffs for wind energy on land is not excluded under prohibitions against “state aid,” and is therefore permitted under European Union (EU) regulations. [more]

March 28, 2014,Three German federal states have reached a deal with German Economics and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) whereby only part of the feed-in tariff surcharge will be applied to new solar photovoltaic systems which supply electricity for the system owner’s use.

March 28, 2014,   by Craig Morris: Yesterday, Brussels approved French feed-in tariffs for wind but said it would investigate industry exemptions. In related news, a draft of the latest energy policy proposals leaked earlier this month probably provides so many backdoors for feed-in tariffs as to make the policy viable going forward.

News on Nuclear & Renewable Energy Policy

April 7, 2014,   by Andrew Dewitt: Japan’s energy policy regime appears dangerously adrift in the context of accelerating climate change. The core problem is agency. On the one hand, Japanese PM Abe Shinzo and the nuclear village appear obsessed with nuclear power restarts and 20th century paradigms of the power economy.

March 31, 2014,   by Craig Morris: On Friday, German power provider Eon confirmed that it will shut down a nuclear plant ahead of schedule. The premature discontinuation of lignite excavation also announced that day, however, is a governmental decision, albeit one the firm may have been about to make itself.

March 27, 2014,   by Glen Estill: Natural gas in storage in the US continued its decline in the most recent update from the US Energy Information Agency. (Why doesn’t Canada publish this type of data?) The ongoing cold winter reduced the gas in storage to 896 Bcf. This compares with the 5 year average of 1822 Bcf, a reduction of 51%. Gas in storage dropped in the week ended Mar 21 by 57 Bcf. Last year in the same week gas in storage was pretty much the same as the week before.

March 26, 2014,   by Bernard Chabot: But as his Figure 1 and, in particular, Figure 3 show, the boom in nuclear mainly took place in the 1970s. Growth continued in the 80s, but began stagnating at the end of the 90s, and has taken a dive since Fukushima.

March 24, 2014,   by Glen Estill: Areas with periodic droughts, like California, Australia, and even the US and Canadian west (remember the dust bowl) need to preserve their rivers and aquifers, or face severe economic consequences. In Canada, Alberta and Saskatchewan are especially vulnerable to drought. And these two province rely primarily on thermal electricity generation.

March 23, 2014,   by Dave Toke: The Hinkley C nuclear power plant deal that gives the nuclear developers a £92.50 per MWh premium price for 35 years will give nuclear power a clear competitive advantage over solar pv in what will be a growing electricity for motor vehicles market.

March 20, 2014,   by Chisaki Watanabe: Japan added 7,044 megawatts of clean energy capacity since it began an incentive program in July 2012 through the end of last year.

March 19, 2014,   by Craig Morris: In any normal situation, such hard facts would simply be reported – it’s not like there’s no way to say “carbon emissions are slightly down year-over-year” in German.

March 18, 2014,A majority of respondents continue to oppose bringing idle nuclear reactors back online, despite moves by the Abe administration to allow restarts as soon as this summer, according to an Asahi Shimbun poll.

March 17, 2014,   by Glen Estill: Some have forecast that the fracking boom may be close to running it’s course. The depletion rates for fracked gas are very high – that is, the well stops producing very quickly. We may not have the surpluses we think we do. But we can make huge surpluses without fracking if we choose to.

News on Wind Energy

April 3, 2014,   by David Suzuki: I think windmills are beautiful. They harness the wind’s power to supply us with heat and light. They provide local jobs. They help clean air and reduce climate change.

March 30, 2014,   by Karl-Friedrich LenzDaniel Wetzel at WELT reports on a new nationwide anti-wind organization recently founded in Germany. The name of the new lobby group is “Vernunftkraft” (reason power). I am not linking to them, but I think that’s an interesting name.

March 24, 2014,   by Ketan Joshi: Recently, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) released a comprehensive position statement on the curiously invulnerable issue of ‘wind turbine syndrome’. One phrase from the statement caught my eye, because it goes slightly further than other institutions (like the Victorian Department of Health, the National Health and Medical Research Council, or New South Wales Health), in that it mentions the impact of misinformation:

March 19, 2014,   by Sarah Taylor: A proposed wind turbine installation near Camp Perry in Northwestern Ohio has recently been halted (see article) by environmental groups that turn out to have connections to the oil, gas and tourism industries.

March 17, 2014,The available Australian and international evidence does not support the view that the infrasound or low frequency sound generated by wind farms, as they are currently regulated in Australia, causes adverse health effects on populations residing in their vicinity. The infrasound and low frequency sound generated by modern wind farms in Australia is well below the level where known health effects occur, and there is no accepted physiological mechanism where sub-audible infrasound could cause heal

News on Community Power

March 31, 2014,   by Jonathan Migneault: Bob Jeffery, vice-president of the SUN Co-operative board, said the group has made an application with the Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program, which offers small green-power generators a chance to sell power to the provincial grid at a guaranteed rate.

March 24, 2014,   by Mark Pengilly: SB 1520, which passed the Oregon House and Senate with bipartisan support, has been signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber. The bill allows renewable energy cooperative corporations to be created and capitalized without the requirement of securities registration.

March 19, 2014,   by Craig Morris: The switch from state-run water services to the private sector made the public aware of the difference between the two options, but the possibility of energy democracy is poorly understood outside Germany even among proponents of renewables. Do citizens have the right to make their own energy? Should such a right be made law explicitly?

News on Household-Size (Small) Wind Turbines

April 7, 2014,   by Mike Barnard: Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) continue to get attention, press and R&D funding. Antagonists of mainstream wind generation continually point at them as if they were a superior technology. People perpetually re-invent them and believe that they have found something new and exciting. However, they are undeserving of any significant attention, are an inferior technology and definitely aren’t new. Outside of a couple of niches, they are more of a distraction from deployment of effective utility-scale, horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT) than anything else.

March 24, 2014,The world market for small wind has continued to grow: As of the end of 2012, a cumulative total of at least 806’000 small wind turbines were installed all over the world. This is an increase of 10 % compared with the previous year, when 730’000 units were registered.

This feed-in tariff news update is made in cooperation with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. The views expressed are those of Paul Gipe and not necessarily of ILSR

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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4 September

Can Japan Be The Second Biggest Market For Solar Power, With The Help of Feed-In-Tariff ?


Dear Friends & Visitors/Readers/Viewers,

(please click on red links below)

Despite its small physical size,  Japan has been expanding its solar power since the 1990’s and is a leading manufacturer of solar panels, ranking in the top five for countries with the most solar PV installed.  Japan had the third largest solar capacity in the world, next to Germany and Spain, in 2009.  Japan is the world’s fourth largest energy consumer, making solar power an important national project.  The Japanese government is planning to expand solar power using subsidies and feed-in-tariff, aiming to have 70% of new homes with solar power installed.  The Japanese government enacted the feed-in-tariff in November, 2009, that requires utilities to purchase excess solar power sent to the grid by homes and businesses and pay twice the standard electricity rate for that power. On June 18, 2012, a new feed-in-tariff of 42 yen/kWh (about 0.406 Euro/kWh or 0.534 USD/kWh) was approved and became effective on July 1, 2012.  Impact due to feed-in-tariff may be seen in the steepness of the blue line (in the graph at right below) since 2009. The tariff covers the first ten years of excess generation for systems less than 10 kW. Let’s take a look at some data pertaining to Japanese solar power trend:

PV Module Prices of Japan From 1992-2011 (wikimedia commons)

PV Cell Production and Shipment (GWp) in Japan: Total (orange), Export (green), and Domestic (blue) (wikimedia commons)

After Fukushima incident, the Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan signaled for change in energy policy. “Based on the recent accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), I think it is necessary to discuss the scrap of the current Basic Energy Plan, where the ratio of the nuclear energy is expected to be more than 50 percent in 2030,” said Kan in a news conference.  “The past energy policy has regarded nuclear energy and fossil fuels as two major pillars in electricity,” he continued. “With the recent accidents, I think two additional pillars are important. The first additional pillar is to add renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, as well as biomass, to the core energy resources.” (source:, May 11, 2011)

Japanese people learned and acted quickly: the first three solar plants by TEPCO were completed in 2011 and 2012, the Ukishima Solar Power Plant (7 MW), the Ohgishima Solar Power Plant (13 MW), and the Komekurayama Solar Power Plant (10 MW).

Komekurayama Solar Power Station owned and operated by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture (wikimedia commons)

The output of all three can be monitored on the internet. (source:  Near the industrial district of Tomakomai, a 200 MW photovoltaic station has also been proposed on the island of Hokkaido. Plans will be set after the proposed Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) has been finalized.  Many new projects such as the proposed 70 MW plant by Kyocera in Kagoshima and a 100 MW plant by Toshiba in Minami Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, will be constructed to take advantage of the new feed-in-tariff. For better understanding of FIT, (an incentive program for renewable energy that had been responsible for great deal of job creations,  widespread renewable energy installations, and Germany’s leadership position in renewable energy world), please visit April 17, 2012, post of Sun Is The Future and sunisthefuture Youtube Channel.

For a summary of the total installed solar power in Japan between 1992-2011, take a look at this graph, below:

Total Installed Solar Power (MWp) Between 1992-2011 in Japan (wikimedia commons)

Above is a clip of high efficiency Panasonic HIT solar panels at various places in Japan. Japanese, as a group, is very cautious and practical. They have tried and tested many different avenues in optimizing their energy infrastructure and decided that Feed-In-Tariff is the smart way to go! Feed-In-Tariff does not ask the government for free solar panels but is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable technologies.  It achieves this by offering long-term contracts and price certainty to renewable energy producers and help finance renewable energy investments, typically based on the cost of generation of each technology. Please refer to wikipedia page on Feed-In-Tariff.

Perhaps we can take advantage of the lessons learned by others/Japan…it will certainly be less expensive…isn’t it time for us here is USA to seriously consider implementing effective Feed-In-Tariff for Solar/Renewable Energy…not just in Hawaii, but throughout our 50 states?!

~have a bright and sunny day~

researched, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

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28 August

German & U.S. Perspectives In Solar Power Trends


Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

(below, please click when you see  red links).
I came across this very informative clip of about an hour by Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Heinrich Boll Foundation.  It took place during a Congressional briefing (March 12, 2012) which discussed the energy transition that occurred in Germany and how that compares, specifically with regard to the solar sector, to the United States.  During this past decade, there had been tremendous growth and advances in opportunities,  manufacturing efficiency, and deployment of this abundant renewable/solar resource from both sides of the Atlantic.

If you do not have an hour to view this clip, please allow me to make the summary of this talk available to you, via :  Over the last ten years, Germany has increased the share of electricity from renewable sources from five to over 20 percent, while creating more than 380,000 new jobs in this sector. Not-so-sunny Germany is known as a world leader in deploying solar power. In 2011 alone, more than 7,500 MW of photovoltaics (PV) were installed in Germany, as compared to 855 MW in U.S. installations during the same time period, which set a record U.S. pace. Investments in Germany as well as the United States have spurred manufacturing and job growth. Government policy has been a determining factor in both countries. The speakers addressed these topics as well as issues faced in building a future grid that is flexible, smart, and strong enough for a renewable energy economy.

Speakers for this event included:

  • Volker Quaschning, PhD, Professor for Renewable Energy, University of Applied Sciences in Berlin (HTW Berlin)
  • Kathy Weiss, Vice President, Government Relations, First Solar

Due to high cost of nuclear clean-up (4 billion Euro that will have to be paid by the tax payers), a near-Fukushima event in Germany, Fukushima incident, and wish of 90% of the German people, Germany currently has the goal of being completely weaned from the use of nuclear energy by 2022 and be able to achieve the use of 80% of power use from renewable sources by 2050.  (Germany will be holding election next year. Its different political parties may have variation in its individual goals: Democratic Party aims for 75% in renewables by 2030 while Green party is aiming for 100% renewables by 2030).

There are several important points one may take away from this talk: Firstly, we cannot possibly discuss solar trends and government incentive policy without mentioning the Feed-In-Tariff (rather, effective Feed-In-Tariff). To help increase our understanding of effective Feed-In-Tariff, I would like to share various previous posts made available at  April 17, 2012 post.  There are also various video clips explaining Feed-In-Tariff from various parts of the world at sunisthefuture Youtube Channel.  Effectively implemented Feed-In-Tariff had been responsible for Germany’s current position as the world leader in renewable energy, tremendous job creations, and economic growth.  Secondly/lastly, this year, 2012, we have reached grid parity. Grid parity is the point at which means of generating electricity from solar energy  produces power at a levelized cost that is equal to or less than the price of purchasing power from the grid. (wikipedia) Reaching grid parity is considered to be an important point in the development of new sources of power, the point at which it becomes a contender for widespread development without subsidy support.  At this critical juncture, our German presenter Dr. Volker Quaschning made an important point  during the 0:57:00-1:05:00th  minutes of the presentation: if U.S. still does not do much to encourage U.S. solar market, the Chinese will soon be able to grow from the current 50% of the market share to 90-100% of the market share for solar technology (approximately 100-200 billion Euros per year). If U.S. still does not consider utilizing effective Feed-In-Tariff to encourage U.S. solar market now, we will soon be left behind in the dust, forever trailing other developed nations.  I hope you will find the time, if not the whole video clip,  to view at least parts of this video clip, below:

This past year, I’ve been spending a lot of my own time, energy, and effort in spreading the understanding of solar energy and effective Feed-In-Tariff.  One frequent comment that I have heard, “Why should we follow the Germans?”  There are two perspectives from which we may answer this question: it is for both ethical reason and selfish reason.  It is our moral imperative to take part in transitioning into the renewable energy age (for a cleaner and safer environment/planet Earth).  We simply have no choice, for fossil fuel is a finite resource.  It is for our own economic benefit in terms of future job creations and economic growth that we should nurture the renewable and solar energy industry here in U.S.  I understand that U.S. is a vast and diverse country, both its strength and weakness in terms of its ability in being able to change.   It is time for us to put aside our differences and combine effort in asking our legislators and former Presidents to help President Obama in implementing the effective Feed-In-Tariff for Renewable Energy.  Please visit and sunisthefuture Youtube Channel for more on solar energy and Feed-In-Tariff for renewable energy and join us (Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva) at to help entrepreneurs in U.S. and developing nations to establish/maintain  businesses/projects in renewable energy/solar energy/recycling/energy efficiency via microfinance.  For regardless who you are, if you are joining the Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva for the first time, you will be given free $25 to help another entrepreneur of your choosing in U.S. or a developing nation. This $25 will eventually be returned to help another entrepreneur (of your choosing).  There is a time limit on these initial free $25 trials, so please act fast to get your free $25 trial. More details on this may be explained at


~have a bright and sunny day~

written & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

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28 May

Hurray For Germany’s New Solar Power Record of 22 Gigawatts !


Dear Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at Thank you very much.


Dear Readers & Fellow Solar Enthusiasts,

With the continued rising fuel costs,  infrastructure costs, environmental costs, and security costs, I would like to give the world a shout and applause for Germany for setting a new solar power record:

In addition to  seeing the German government deciding to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March of 2011, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine plants by 2022, now we are seeing German solar power plants producing a world record of 22 gigawatts of electricity  (equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday).  Norbert Allnoch, Director of the Institute of Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, announced that the 22 gigawatts of solar power fed into the naional grid on Saturday met nearly 50% of the nation’s midday electricity needs.  “Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity.  Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt (GW) few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over. This shows Germany is capable of meeting a large share of its electricity needs with solar power.  It also shows Germany can do with fewer coal-burning power plants, gas-burning plants, and nuclear plants.” Allnoch said to Reuters.

This has demonstrated that such record-breaking amount of solar power, in one of the world’s leading industrial nations (yet largely a land-locked and one of the cloudiest countries in Europe) is able to meet a third of its electricity needs on a work day, Friday (May 25, 2012) and nearly half on Saturday (May 26, 2012) when factories and offices are closed.  It is no small feat and deserves our attention. German government mandated support for renewables has helped Germany to become a world leader in renewable energy and Germany gets about 20% of its overall annual electricity from those sources.  About half of the world’s installed solar power generation capacity comes from Germany (a country of approximately 357,021 sq km and 82 million inhabitants) and about 4% of its annual electricity needs from the sun alone.  All of us earthlings should cheer on the Germans for having the aim and being the most likely to achieve their goal in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 level by 2020.

Once again, the take away lesson of such great success from such a small country is the German Energy Policy.  Please listen carefully and learn about their historical energy policy leading to Feed-In-Tariffs (originated from USA, but more effectively implemented in Germany)  in the clip below, thank you:

For better understanding of Feed-In-Tariffs (FITs), please view/read  the April 17, 2012 posts and click on various colored links within this post of

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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