by Staff Writers
Okinawa, Japan (SPX) May 23, 2012
ABC Solar Japan celebrates ground-breaking at its new headquarters for solar market development located in Okinawa, Japan. This beautiful and strategic island was chosen because ABC Solar Japan sees 'solar-friendly' Okinawa as a microcosm of the whole island nation of Japan.
ABC Solar believes that Okinawa can be Off-Grid - and so can Japan. According to Tetsuro Nishida, ABC Solar Japan president and co-founder, "The people of Okinawa are ready, the solar market is ready and ABC Solar is ready to help residents and businesses down the path of energy independence and lower emissions," Nishida said.
"It's really like a home-coming," said ABC Solar founder Bradley Bartz as he described the Japanese market. Bartz continued, "in the early 1990s, we built Japan's first Internet company with an international business team and local market experts.
"We all went our separate ways after selling the business in 2000. I went back to California to pursue my other passion and started ABC Solar, Inc. Twelve years later, I am back in Japan with as many years of solar experience and the vision to help Japan recover from this current energy crisis."
ABC Solar Japan is publicly taking advantage of the Japanese Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) for solar and renewable energy systems. The FIT is spurring solar photovoltaic installations on rooftops, pole tops and just about everywhere a solar system can be installed. The FIT is 42 yen per kWh produced for 20 years guaranteed by the Japanese government.
he FIT is designed to aid the homeowner or businessman with the cost of eliminating electricity bills. The FIT guarantee at 42 yen per kWh for 20 years is a significant contribution to the expansion of solar in Japan.
The new virtual home for ABC Solar Japan is Japan.co.jp and from this major internet property, ABC Solar has launched a cloud based Solar Business Operating System.
Translating 12 years of solar business experience into the ABC Solar SBOS allows management, staff, salespeople and clients to manage all aspects of a solar electric installation.
This includes client contact management, pre-sales efforts, rebate documents and agreements and most importantly the automatic Single Line Diagram that delivers safely designed systems every time.
ABC Solar Japan has been working to launch since buying the domain Japan.co.jp in 2004. For eight years ABC Solar has methodically built a network of Japan-based solar suppliers, and perhaps more importantly, developing working relationships with contractors and craftsmen who install for ABC Solar Japan.
The Japanese government announced a plan in 2004 to take one out of every three Japanese homes off-grid with solar by 2030. This means 100% of the Japanese housing stock will be off-grid during the day leaving all power for use by business and manufacturing. The commitment to solar is an important step, both from a security / military standpoint and for commercial / economic benefits.
The extraordinary events of 311 have made the goal of 14 million Japanese 4KW solar homes vital and the target
date has moved to 2020. Over one million Japanese homes have installed solar in mostly all-cash transactions. The new 42 yen FIT from the Japanese government is not going to necessarily bring new solar product technology to Japan, but it is bringing financial engineering and management to mass solar deployment.
ABC Solar Japan plays a major role in solar financial engineering with the Japan.co.jp cloud tools and the ability to produce 20 year pro forma budgets in real-time for any type of solar electrical installation. From the home to ABC Solar Japan makes solar design and business management tools available for free at Japan.co.jp, to help unleash the Japanese venture spirit.
Overwhelming the market that has created vertically integrated solar in Japan, ABC Solar Japan provides the tools, information and power to allow a single person to compete with the larger utility monopolies.
The government's FiT rate for >10kW (non-residential) is 40 yen/kWh (US$0.50/kWh) for 20 years with a separate consumption tax, as discussions in favor of a tax remain ongoing. Less than 10kW (residential) will be 42 yen/kWh (US$0.52/kWh) for 10 years, including a tax and an FiT for excess power produced. However, if a leasing model system is applied, it will receive the entire FiT and no self-consumption tax. The FiT is effective July 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013.
Japan also announced the extension of the current solar FiT for the period of April to June. Currently the FiT is US$0.55/kWh (<10kW) and US$0.52/kWh (>10kW) with a system cap of 500kW (expected to be removed with the implementation of the new legislation) and a self-consumption residential model. Specific details on financing and eligible PV plants have yet to be introduced.
Japan's energy mix was estimated to be 45% nuclear, 23% thermal, 20% renewable and 12% co-gen by 2020. Since the catastrophic events of 3/11/11, Japan's favored power generation, nuclear, is hoped to be reduced to a maximum of 35% and a minimum of 0%.
Renewables will capture some of this share with proposals ranging from 20-35% of the total energy mix. PV is proposed to encompass 57.2B kWh to 120B kWh representing an installed base of 52GW-110GW.
In either scenario, this is a significant market opportunity. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry expects that electricity prices will rise by 20%.
ABC Solar Japan
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Engineers use plasmonics to create an invisible photodetector
Stanford CA (SPX) May 23, 2012
It may not be intuitive, but a coating of reflective metal can actually make something less visible, engineers at Stanford and UPenn have shown. They have created an invisible, light-detecting device that can "see without being seen." At the heart of the device are silicon nanowires covered by a thin cap of gold. By adjusting the ratio of metal to silicon - a technique the engineers refer ... read more
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