Bloomberg News

Japan to Ease Regulations on Solar, Wind Power, Nikkei Reports

March 24, 2012

Japan’s government will ease regulations on renewable-energy projects to encourage businesses to increase use of alternative power sources such as solar and wind, the Nikkei newspaper said.

The Cabinet is expected to approve a set of measures on March 30 that would make it easier for companies to put solar panels on roofs and cut the time it takes to do environmental impact studies for building wind turbines, the newspaper said, without saying where it obtained the information.

Power shortages have been a challenge for Japan as 52 of the nation’s 54 nuclear reactors have been shut in the aftermath of the meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501)’s Fukushima Dai- Ichi plant. Kansai Electric Power Co. has said electricity supply may fall short of peak summer demand by as much as 25 percent in the western region of Kansai, which accounts for about a fifth of Japan’s economy.

Facilities that generate solar power are currently subject to restrictions because they are treated as factories, making businesses unprofitable unless companies choose locations where land is cheap, the Nikkei said. Changes to the regulations would make it more affordable to set up solar panels on roofs in high rent areas around Tokyo and Osaka, the paper said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Monami Yui in Tokyo at myui1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net


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