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Japan Invests $700M in Storage, $779M in Efficiency

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is considering an ¥81 billion (US$700 million) investment in energy storage, on top of ¥93 billion (US$779 million) for energy efficiency measures, according to a Bloomberg News report.

Program details are still being worked out, but Greentech reports that a lead objective is to balance the country’s electricity grid [1].

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“Solar power adoption has soared in Japan in recent years, with around eight gigawatts of new capacity coming online last year alone,” Deign writes. But “by the end of last year, residential solar appeared to have become a problem for utilities because they were not allowed to curtail production from installations of less than 500 kilowatts. Five power companies refused to sign renewable energy purchase agreements because of the law.”

He adds that “support for energy storage would clearly be another way of helping utilities to rein in intermittent generation, since it would give solar panel owners the option of storing electricity instead of feeding it into the grid.”