The Japanese market for heat generation from renewable energy sources

IHK Hannover

New opportunities in the Japanese market, "The Japanese market for heat generation from renewable energy sources"

Photovoltaics, wind energy, biomass and geothermal energy - there are many opportunities for German companies to become involved in the renewable energy market in Japan. At an information day ECOS Consult showed what the current situation looks like on site, which developments are on the horizon and how companies can enter the market. The event at the IHK Hannover was part of the Renewable Energy Export Initiative.

One year after the devastating earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011, discussions about the country’s energy supply in future turns hot in Japan. Only three of 54 nuclear power plants are currently in service, the re-commissioning is questionable. The advocates of renewable energy sources are becoming more and more approval.

The rethinking of Japanese energy policy offers German companies within the renewable energy sector new opportunities in the Japanese market. Besides solar and wind power for energy and the solar heat, the thermal utilization of biomass and geothermal heat pumps in Japan and is increasingly coming into focus.

For German companies, especially from the solar thermal business (from the absorber production to full solar system technology) and the biomass sector (both in the use of solid fuels as well as the biogas and liquid bio fuels), it is right now a good chance to grab a share of this market, since experts in these sectors continue to predict a significant growth.

On May 08, 2012, the information event with the title "The Japanese market for heat generation from renewable energy sources" took place in Hannover on behalf of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) and as part of the Export Initiative Renewable took energies of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). The aim of this event was to inform German small-and medium-sized companies about possibilities and opportunities in the Japanese market.

The event informed the participants about the current situation and developments in Japan in the areas of solar thermal energy, biomass, geothermal and heat pumps. Company representatives and experts provided tips for market development, market access and funding opportunities as well as how to deal with Japanese business partners and authorities.

According to the statements of Japanese experts will arise from the heralded "energy revolution" in Japan, especially in the fields of biomass and solar thermal great opportunities in Japan. As a driving force for the increasing use of renewable energy, for example, the CO2 reduction program introduced by the Japanese government should be mentioned, which requires the use of CO2-reducing measures in the energy supply of residential buildings.

The solar thermal sector is promoted in Japan on the prefecture level. According to the current planning status of the government solar thermal energy is, contrary to biomass, not subsidized at the state level. Based on current amount of around 200,000 m² of solar collectors installed annually in Japan (comparison Federal Republic about 1.15 million square meters, the end of 2010) and an about 20% higher solar radiation average a huge growth potential for solar thermal systems exists in Japan. Especially for German manufacturer there is a very good opportunity right now to make their mark on the Japanese market, because they still have a huge technological advantage.

The development of technologies for the use of bio energy is still at relatively low levels in Japan. However, The biomass potential of Japan with a total of around 1,800 PJ in comparison to Germany (with about 1240 PJ) can be classified as very high. The potential of wood biomass in Japan is very large; on the Japanese islands 35 million tons of waste wood, of which the largest portion is not used. To lift this "treasure", numerous cities and towns now participate in the "Biomass Nippon Strategy". There are in Japan now nearly 300 of such "biomass towns" that intend to use biomass for energy production. The use of biomass for energy production is, according to current plans, heavily promoted from 1 June 2012 on.

Japan has a great potential for the generation of heat from renewable energy sources, as previously, the resources were used only to a small extent, or as in the case of geothermal energy legislation so far prevented for further use. There is a pent-up demand. Data presented at the event, market information and plans of the Japanese government showed the rapidly growing significance of heat generation from renewable energy sources in Japan. It showed the will and plans of the Japanese government and its will to realize and expand it from June 2012 on. Thus, especially for German businesses it is a very good chance to develop opportunities in this exciting new market sector with still a low competition.



Dr. Rolf Fobker,
Tel. +49 (0)541-911 909 90,
Email: {{}}

The event was conducted on behalf of the BAFA within the Renewable Energy Export Initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

Cooperation partner:

Chamber of Industry and Commerce Hannover