Japan’s Ministry of Economy announced today that a price incentive program should boost the country’s clean energy capacity by 13 percent through March 2013. As the country struggles with its energy infrastructure and maintain some semblance of energy independence in the post-Fukushima era, solar and wind power will comprise the bulk of this new boost in capacity.

The initiative requires that utilities pay above-market rates to clean energy producers. The scheme will work similarly to how feed-in tariff programs work in Europe; utility customers will pay a surcharge of about 0.4 yen (half a U.S. cent) per kilowatt hour. The average cost to customers will be about 100 yen, or $1.24 a month.

Currently Japan gains nine percent of its electricity through renewables. With concern over Japan’s nuclear program not receding anytime soon, this ramp up in clean energy investment should prove to the Japanese that the country’s energy security will only grow stronger. The Japanese have already proven that they can adjust during the harshest of times and have a long history of innovation; it is refreshing to see that the country’s institutions are showing that they can work effectively for its people.

Photo of Ginza at night courtesy Leon Kaye.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.