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24.03.2009 Japan starts new funding program
Author:Photovoltaik Magazin Published:2009,3.24, Browse: 1781
January 13th this year saw Japan start its new funding program for photovoltaics - earlier than scheduled. Originally, solar power technology was not supposed to be funded again until the beginning of the new fiscal year in April - after expiry of the last program in 2005.

Nine billion Yen (78m) is available to the end of March 31st for starters, a figure that should suffice for the installation of 35,000 systems with an overall capacity of 122.5 megawatt. Another 20.05 billion Yen (174m) should be made available from April onwards for a period of one year. Parliament is to decide in March on the coming fiscal year and hence potential changes can not be ruled out. If the figure remains at 20 billion Yen, we estimate 280 megawatt could be attained.

Thanks to its program of subsidies, started in 1994, Japan headed for many years the list of countries with the highest installed power rating - until it was knocked off top spot in 2004 by Germany. Since the old subsidy law expired, Japan has almost completely disappeared off the photovoltaics map - the estimated installation capacity in 2008 was only 180 megawatts, between 3 and 4% of the global market size.

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