Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Land of the Rising Sun Prefers Solar Power

Wind power generates about 9 times as much electricity worldwide as does solar.

Except in Japan, says a news report in Asahi.com.

The Land of the Rising Sun has settled on solar power as the nation's main source of alternative energy. By 2030, the government expects solar power generatiing capacity to reach 53 GW.

In contrast, total capacity for wind energy will top out at 6.6 GW.

Japan's 9 electric utilities, each of which operates its own grid, have been reluctant to accept power from wind farm operators. Fluctuations in wind power reduce the quality of grid electricity and disrupt the networks' load balance, according to utility officials.

At least one utility agreed to accept wind power if it was stabilized by batteries before reaching the grid. It found no takers, because adding batteries can nearly double a wind farm's construction cost.

Construction of wind farms has stalled, says the news report.

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