solar energy in Japan

Solar energy is widely used all over the world and in Japan this energy source has been generated since the end of the 90's. Japan is one of the countries with the largest production of residential photovoltaic panels and cells. The solar radiation index in Japan is 4.3 to 4.8 kWh/m² per day.

Japan is a country that has little territorial extension and contains many irregular reliefs. These unfavorable conditions make the country look for innovative and futuristic energy supply solutions to meet the demand of its population of more than 125 million. 80% of their supply depend on foreign sources.

Solar energy became a priority in Japan after the nuclear disaster from Fukushima in 2011, becoming the second largest in the world market between the years 2013 and 2014 with a record 6.97 GW and 9.74 GW of installed power.

solar energy - solar energy in japan
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oil crisis

The 1973 and 1979 oil crisis interfered with solar energy significantly. The consumption of the resource increased and in the following years the consumption of large industries was unstable, but residential, commercial and passenger and goods transport had an increase.

In the late 1980s there was a decrease in imports in Asian countries and the Japan started to depend Middle East oil representing 90% of imports and other energy sources. This was significant because it is important to obtain energy sources.

Apparently, oil has everything to be a global energy source and demand, mainly from the Asian continent, tends to increase. In order not to run the risk of suffering energy shortages, Japan is already thinking about promoting independent resources so as not to go through emergency situations, but the cooperation of oil-producing countries will be necessary.

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solar energy - solar energy in japan

residential solar energy

Since the year 2013 in Japan there is an incentive for the entire population to adopt the use of solar energy in homes. Solar energy already reached an installed capacity of 6707 MW.

So the idea of installing photovoltaic systems on roofs across Japan was adopted and making this installation affordable for everyone because they are affordable. Japan has become one of the world's leading manufacturers. Several companies are already investing in photovoltaic energy, and even many of their projects are carried out here in Brazil.

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The most powerful floating solar power plant in the world was built in Japan. This Japanese power plant has 51,000 floating solar panels that act to supply electricity to more than 5,000 homes. This helps to help with the environment. The plant is located in the Yakamura Reservoir 70km from the capital, Tokyo. The average is for it to produce more than 16,000 MW/hour per year, supporting Japan's plan to obtain 24% of its entire electrical capacity from renewable sources by 2030.

solar energy - solar energy in japan

Greenhouse effect

The greenhouse effect is important for life on Earth, it helps us not to die, in fact it might not even be possible to have life on this planet. If it didn't have the greenhouse effect, the Earth's temperature would be minus 18°C. Greenhouse gases absorb solar radiation and emit heat back to the earth's surface (infrared radiation). Some of this heat leaves the atmosphere and goes back to space, in this way the Earth maintains the temperature that allows for life.

What results in the greenhouse effect are carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and carbon, which have become a serious global problem. To reduce this damage, the Kyoto Protocol or Treaty.

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The Kyoto Protocol is international, its objective is to make developed countries commit to reducing gases that aggravate the greenhouse effect, in order to reduce the impacts caused by global warming. Discussions are also held to establish goals and projects that do not harm the planet.

Technology came to help and simplify life as much as possible, including in what concerns nature. The objective is that, with technology, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 1993, the “New Claridade do Sol Program” was structured and adopted with the objective of developing innovative technologies aimed at sustainability and to solve problems related to energy and the environment.

solar energy - solar energy in japan

Car solar powered

By the end of 2004, Japan was one of the leading countries to rank first in the introduction of solar energy worldwide. In 2009, Japan was the third country in the world in terms of solar electric capacity and the government re-implemented a subsidy system for the generation of solar energy, and this increased the sales of solar cells in Japan's domestic market.

Other technologies have been developed for this purpose such as new energy sources with hydrogen fuel cells used also in place of car fuel. In the year 2004 Japanese companies developed an electric motor known as "wheel motor",

Toyota did tests in 2019 with a Prius in Japan. The vehicle was covered by solar panels. The panels were 0.03 millimeters on the hood, roof and rear window, made by Sharp. The system is able to recover about 56 km of autonomy with the energy of the sun alone.

The Prius Prime works like a plug-in hybrid, supplying the batteries through an outlet, rather than using the vehicle's motion. In Japan, solar panels on the Prius car are sold as an option, capable of recovering only 6.5 km of autonomy and recharging is done only when the vehicle is parked. The new system is almost seven times more efficient, generating around 45 km with the car stationary. On the move, it generates 56 km of autonomy in conjunction with regeneration of the brakes.

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Source: Portal Solar and Embassy of Japan in Brazil