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Solar Pioneer Says Fukushima Can Make Japan Clean Energy Hotbed

Japan should be able to turn the energy woes triggered by the 2011 Fukushima disaster into a chance to integrate more clean energy, said an industry expert.

Yukinori Kuwano, a former Sanyo Electric Co. president and an early developer of solar technology, said the solar industry at the moment has the potential to make photovoltaic power more competitive compared with conventional power sources.

The Fukushima disaster and the idling of Japan’s nuclear reactors for safety checks have opened the door to a broader adoption and promotion of renewable energy. While solar has so far proven the most popular clean energy source, panel makers must improve efficiency and the lifespan of their products to lower costs, Kuwano said in an interview at his Osaka home, where he installed panels that were the first to be connected to the grid in Japan in 1992.
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