(1) Ministry of Environment
@On May 29, 2011 Ministry of Environment decided a new institution. When a small and medium firms or a home lease solar cells or energy saving products , lease rates can be reduced. This "Eco-friendly Lease Promotion Activity" was decided to begin On June 15, 2011. Leasing firms get 3 % of the rate. The Ministry allocated 2 billion yen in the initial budget. The firms nominated as leasing firms in this new institution are about 70 firms, including twenty and several firms under local banks. These will be set forth near future. Complicated application procedure will be done by the leasing firms, so that firms hoping this lease can avoid the complicated leasing procedure. The objectives for this institution are (1) renewable energy facilities such as residential solar panels (mainly over 10 kW output), wind mills etc., (2) industrial machines like high-efficiency boilers and (3) FC etc. (total 31 kinds). [The Mainichi Shimbun , The Nihon Nogyo Shimbun (agriculture), The Tokyo Shimbun, The Kahoku Shimpo, The Iwate Nippo May 30, 2011, The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun, The Kitanihon Shimbun, The Niigata Nippo and The Fukushima Min-Yu Shimbun (June 1, 2011)
(2) Prime-minister's Office
@On June 3, 2911, Headquarter of Strategy for Intellectual Properties in Prime Minister Office (Chairman: Prime Minister, Kan) decided "Promotion Program of Intellectual Properties 2011" for improving international competitiveness and for recovery of brand images of Japanese products, which was once damaged by great earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant accident in Eastern Japan. In industrial fields, each ministries and agencies completed schedules for this 3- 4 years. Next generation cars by FC, water desalination etc. are selected and international technology levels would be established by the leadership of Japan. [The Yomiuri Shimbun June 4, 2011]
(3) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Automobile Industry
@"Research Group on Automobile Strategy for New Growth of Japanese Economy," consisting of the ministry and automobile industry, edited an interim report, and the report shows the role of Japanese automobile industry in energy limited situation, after east Japan disaster. It will promote the construction of hydrogen stations for the introduction of FCV. EV would take a role of adjustment in smart grid with smart grid by combining with public facilities like community centers. [The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun (construction) and The Chemical Daily May 14, 2011]
2. Policies by Local Governments
(1) Tottori Prefecture
@To promote propagation of house and facilities with standalone energy supply system using renewable energy, Tottori Prefecture is going to make up fundamental images and fundamental designs of model facilities and systems. In complimentary budget of June to be announced on May 25, 2011, 14 million yen was requested. Assumed introduction models are 3; a model in urban area, that in intermediate area and that in mountainous area. In the urban model solar photo-generation is the center and FC and batteries are combined to make co-generation system, which is optimum one in residential area, and system design, control method and various conditions for introduction are going to be examined. In the intermediate area a case of introduction of generation, batteries and bio-mass to a public facility is examined for optimum combination, and conditions for the introduction will be investigated. In hot spring area, where co-generation and bio-mass are possible, heat supply system, maintenance and management will be examined. [The Nikkan Kensetsu Shimbun (construction) , May 24, 2011]
(2) Tokyo Prefecture
@In a series to keep electric power, Tokyo Prefecture will expands institution for expansion of energy creation equipment for homes. The objectives are solar photo-generation system, solar thermal energy system, gas power generating and hot water supplying system, FC and home use batteries. Tokyo subsidies 100,000 yen per 1 kW output. It is 2 year program, and total 14 billion yen will be invested. Thus over 200,000 kW energy would be created. The application to be accepted is as follows; solar photo-generation (standard output 3 kW) 39,000 applications, solar thermal utilization (ditto 4.2 kW) 2,500, gas power generation and hot water supplying system (ditto 1 kW) 10,000 and FC (ditto 0.75 kW) 2000. Solar photo-generation and solar thermal utilization were ended in the previous year, because the spread reached at a certain level. However, because of the nuclear plant accident, emergency power generation in homes is thought to be urgent, Gas hot water supplier, FC and home use batteries are newly added. These are done as urgent policies. [The Nikkan Kensetsu Shimbun (construction) June 16, 2011 and June 21, 2011]
3. Development and Business of SOFC
(1) Hitachi Metals Admet, Ltd.
@Hitachi Metals Admet ,Ltd. (Tokyo Prefecture) a commercial firm in the group of Hitachi Metals. Ltd., turn its effort to exploration of new demands. In the field of FC the firm is supplying specific stainless steel developed and produced by Hitachi Metal Corp. for interconnectors of SOFC. Because SOFC can converts gas energy efficiently, demand exploration in SOFC market is hopeful and the firm is imaging future image of the metal in combination with PHV. [The Tekko Shimbun (iron and steel) June 9, 2011]
(2) Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
@On June 21, 2011 Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. opened its house for technology assessment to optimization of energy utilization. It is named "Smart Energy House" and located in Nishijima experimental field in Osaka city. Solar photo-generator, of.3 kW, SOFC of 700 W output to be sell in 2012 fiscal year and lithium ion batteries of 3.5 kW output were installed together with HEMS. Energy consumption can be changed as simulation. Under various conditions, such as difference in family constitution, energy consumption can be observed, and the effect of advising function by HEMS can be also be evaluated. By the end of 2112 fiscal year technology development for smart energy house would be completed, and its commercialization in 2114 fiscal year is anticipated. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) June 22, 2011]
4. EneFarm Business
(1) Ishikawa Prefecture L P Gas Association
@The above association completed its vision up to 2020 "Enesapo (energy support) Ishikwa 2020." It aims at 5 % propagation of installation of EneFarm, Solar Photo-generation and batteries in the prefecture. Concerns are spreading on electric power shortage, and gas dealers intensify sales of related products. [The Hokkoku Shimbun May 24, 2011]
(2) Itochu Enex, Co., Ltd.
@The above company announced on May 24, 2011 that it will begin to sell home use "Electric Storage System connected with Grid.". The storage system is connect with distribution lines of a power company, so that inexpensive midnight power is stored automatically, and the power cost is reduced by using it in day time. By connecting with solar photo-generation and EneFarm, more efficient power supply becomes able. The home use storage system under development of the company, the system is composed with independent batteries and a system for charging and discharging. These capacities can be determined in accordance with life style, and this is one characteristic point. For instance batteries in EV can be used as home use and it can be economic. Increasing battery capacity, it would be used in commercial schemes. [The Chemical Daily May 25, 2011 and The Denki Shimbun (electricity) May 27, 2011]
(3) Panasonic Corp.
@May 26, 2011 Panasonic Corp. set forth s concept with Fujisawa Cities etc., and it is "Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (SST) Concept." They making up design of advanced town which equipped with solar photo-generation and batteries, and it is strong against disasters. Its goal seems 2013. In this project, Panasonic Corp. is making full use of previous site of its Fujisawa factory (9 ha) and constructs the most advanced town in the world. In the assumed town 1,000 families (3,000 persons) will be living. The CO2 exhaustion is estimated 70 % decrease in comparison with 1980. The total investment will be 60 billion yen, and among it about 25 billion yen will be invested by Panasonic Corp. For this company it is the first business of whole town construction business, and solar photo-generation, batteries and FC will be installed as well as LED illumination. For makers' share about 100 EV cars will be prepared, and charging facilities will be set down. The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Tokyo Shimbun, The Osaka Nichinichi Shimbun, The Chunichi Shimbun, The Shizuoka Shimbun, The Iwate Shimbun, The Chemical Daily May 27, 2011 and The Chugoku Shimbun May 28, 2011]
(4) Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd.
@On May 30, 2011 Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd. set forth "2011 intermediate business Plan" for the period 2011 - 2015. Share of natural gas in apartment houses would be 90 %. This year is recognized as the first year for my home power generation, EneFarm, home use gas engine co-generation system, "COREMO" will be put in the market, and it aims at the foal that my home generation will be standard in 2020 fiscal year. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) and The Hokkaido Shimbun May 31, 2011]
(5) Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
@On June 2, 2011, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. announced that it begin to examine that its home use co-generation system Ecowill and EneFarm can be operated at blackout. At present home use co-generation system is designed for load leveling with commercial power, it cannot be used at blackout. Aims of the modification are that operation can be continuously done at blackout and that self-starting function from blackout can be done. These are technically possible, but the price increases, so that some resolutions are being looked for. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) June 3, 2011]
@Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. calculates trially its contribution to load leveling. By spread of air conditioners using EneFarm etc, it can contribute about 440,000 kW in addition by 2112 fiscal year. Until now about 6.6 million kW load leveling effect was made by introduction increase of Gas appliances and natural gas thermal power plants. Taking account of the new effect, total contribution would be about 7 million kW. [The Mainichi Shimbun June 13, 2011]
@On June 21, 2011 Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. set forth interim report on an energy saving house "Smart Energy House," which is being studied with Sekisui House Corp. It is built in Ojimachi, Nara prefecture, and gas co-generation system, solar cells and batteries are combined. Electric energy from solar photo-generation and sold to Kansai Electric Power Co., Ltd. is about 12 times more than energy bought from the power company since the beginning of living. The test was started in February. The total floor area is about 140m2 and a 3 member family of employee of Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. is now living. Solar photo-generation of 5 kW output and EneFarm of 700 W output are combined. Monthly average sold power of February and March is about 450 kWh and the bought power is 36 kWh. Thus the sold power amounts to about 12 times more than the bought. [The Sankei Shimbun June 22, 2011]
(6) Earth Tech Naha
@Earth Tech Naha is going to sell ready built houses equipped with double power generation of solar photo-generation and EneFarm of gas specification. The price is 39.8 million yen, and annually about 200,000 yen will be reduced by double generation, and it is forecasted CO2 exhaust will be by 80 % reduced. [The Ryukyu Shimpo June 9, 2011 and The Okinawa Times June 12, 2011]
(7) Shikoku Gas Co., Ltd
@The above company. informed a new rate plan for EneFarm users to Shikoku Branch of Economy and Industry on June 10, 2011. It will be effective since July 1.
On June 10, 2011
------------ These articles are extracted from the Japanese version made up of June 23, 2011. ---------------