The nuclear disasters created by earthquake and tsunami a year ago pushed Softbank corporate executive Masayoshi Son to finance a foundation to pursue replacing nuclear power with renewable clean energy, reported Sarah Berlow at the Wall Street Journal. “The successful development of renewable-energy industry in Japan may be a model for development, all over Asia, and all over the world,” Director Tomas Kåberger said when the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation started. The foundation initially focused on increasing solar-energy use in Japan as its primary mission, but has added an emphasis on wind power as a potential energy resource. As in the US, a principal obstacle in the transition to renewable clean energy has been lack of a national feed-in tariff, which discouraged investment. But Japan’s feed-in tariff will begin this July. The feed-in tariff will force companies to purchase renewable energy at above-market rates. It is expected to help open the energy market and encourage investment from industries other than energy. Still, the lack of a neutral energy grid and the copious red tape involved in permits remain obstacles. Much work remains to be done.
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March 11, one year on: The struggle for renewable energy. Last year, Masayoshi Son put his money where his mouth is. Shaken into action by the March 11 disasters, the CEO of Softbank Corp. turned his conviction that Japan must turn away from nuclear power into a foundation to promote renewable energy. Wall Street Journal