Eco-business / Social Venture

August 24, 2002


NEDO Develops New Solar Cell with Reduced Power Generation Cost

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Environmental Technology Government Manufacturing industry Renewable Energy University / Research institute 

Photovoltaic (PV) power generation has been steadily growing in Japan, primarily for household use. Statistics show a total installed capacity of 452,000 kW of PV generation in 2001. With a yearly PV production of close to 180,000 kW Japan is leading the rest of the world, with roughly a 45 percent share of the world's total production.

The biggest challenge at present is the high cost for power generation. The present average power generation cost for a household unit, excluding subsidies from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development (NEDO), is 66 yen (about 60 cents U.S.) per kWh, or three times the household rate for electricity from utilities. It is therefore indispensable to reduce PV cell costs, which account for more than 50 percent of the total system cost. NEDO has been conducting two national projects by commissioning research and development activities to private companies and universities. The outlines of those two projects are below.

1. By 2005, component technologies such as for making thin film are to be enhanced to obtain higher performance. (The cost target is 22 to 23 yen (about 20 cents U.S.) per kWh, the same level as current household electricity rates. )

2. By 2010, innovative new materials and manufacturing processes are to be explored, and technical feasibility is to be evaluated. (The cost target is less than 15 yen (about 17 cents U.S.) per kWh, the same level as electricity rates for large business users.)

Posted: 2002/08/24 06:16:49 AM
Japanese version