Japan’s Wind Industry Headed for Boom After Solar Surge | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Japan’s Wind Industry Headed for Boom After Solar Surge

Japan’s Wind Industry Headed for Boom After Solar Surge

Japan's wind power industry will see major growth in installations similar to the increase in solar power the nation saw last year.

Solar and wind have the best chances to expand in Japan's clean energy market after the government increased subsidies in July, said Arthur Mitchell, senior counselor of White & Case LLP in Tokyo.

"Wind is going to be the next big story," he said in an interview. "They just don't want to do bad deals."

Financing for wind projects has been hampered by difficulties in obtaining enough land for utility-scale turbine farms. The most likely places to site new facilities would be in national parks and offshore, where government permission could unleash large scale construction, Mitchell said. Mitchell said that investment will flow to the industry once more bankers understand the risks and how to structure loans for wind and solar projects.

"Once the Japanese banks feel comfortable enough to finance, that's when the mega market will take off," he said.

With solar, the incentives are strong enough to "get a lot of excitement" from investors, he said.

"It also means lots of unqualified people getting into it or trying to getting into it. We will find they can't really get over to the finishing line."