Wall Street Firm Eyes Renewables in Japan

Climate Change Law Practice Group Blog

May 21, 2013

Goldman Sachs announced today that it plans to invest as much as $490 million (50 billion yen) in renewable energy projects in Japan over the next five years.  That's a lot!  Bloomberg reports that "the Wall Street firm also plans to take as much as 250 billion yen of bank loans and project-financing over the same period to move ahead with projects that would cost a total of 300 billion yen."

Japan implemented a feed-in tariff system in July last year.  According to the Japan Times, the program will catapult Japan into the position of being the largest solar market in the world after China this year.  The forecast reflects Japan's push to find other sources of power after the 2011 Tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster. 

The Bloomberg report indicates that commercial and utility-scale projects will boost solar installations to a range of 6.1 gigawatts to 9.4 gigawatts in 2013, exceeding an earlier forecast of 3.2 gigawatts to 4 gigawatts, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in April.

Goldman Sachs formed the Japan Renewable Energy Co. unit in August to plan, design and operate power plants that run on sun, wind, fuel cells and biomass fuels, says the article by Bloomberg.  The JREC website is entirely in Japanese.  Happily, Davis LLP has an associate office in Japan and we will keep you posted on the investments being made in that country in the areas of wind, solar and geothermal power.