Friday, July 30, 2010

No. 54: Photovoltaic generation spreads among restaurants and convenience stores (July 30, 2010)

A nationwide coffee shop chain decided to install a photovoltaic generation system in its new shop to supply 5% of its power demand by photovoltaic generation and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The investment is three million yen, and it is scheduled to be recouped within 10 years. A nationwide restaurant chain introduced solar water heaters to reduce utility cost. Because restaurant chains are not as financially strong as nationwide major retail chains, they are behind in energy saving measures. However, it has become easier for restaurant chains to introduce photovoltaic generation, because the policy to ask electric power companies to purchase power at two times as high as in the past was enacted last fall and because an increasing number of municipalities provide a subsidy to companies that install a photovoltaic generation system. Convenience store chains are very energetic to install a photovoltaic generation system. Family Mart will increase the number of stores with the system from the present 10 stores to 300 stores by 2012, and Seven-Eleven plans to double the number of stores with the system to 200 by next spring. The Japanese government plans to increase photovoltaic generation by 20 times to 28 million kW toward 2020. Backed up by the inspiring government policy, the move to introduce photovoltaic generation is expected to intensify among restaurant and retail chains in Japan.

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