Tokyo’s Renewable Hopes Fall Short

resh incentives to provide renewable energy for Japan are drawing private companies into the sector—but experts say the new measures will do little to lift electricity production.

A number of high-profile events marked the first day of a new “feed-in” tariff law Sunday, with mobile-phone baron Masayoshi Son of Softbank Corp. 9984.TO -0.81% and Energy and Industry Minister Yukio Edano among those getting in on the act.

Mr. Son declared at a ceremony to launch a Kyoto solar project that the law would herald construction of large-scale solar projects nationwide. “From this point on, we are going to spread natural energy throughout Japan,” he said. Answering criticism that renewable energy is too expensive, he added, “Ultimately, if you take the long view, renewable energy will have the cheapest power-generation costs.”

Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of Softbank Corp., spoke during the opening of the company’s Softbank Kyoto Solar Park in Kyoto on Sunday.

Like programs in countries such as Germany, the feed-in tariff is meant to help raise the portion of electricity produced by renewable sources by requiring utilities to pay relatively generous and fixed prices for that power… Read more

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