We all depend on fossel energy to fuel our lives. While abundant, the earth's fossel energy supply is limited. And the burning of this fuel is heating the earth causing environmental and climate change.
Japan accounts for about 7% of the world's GDP and consumes about 6% of the world's electricity. Unfotunately, almost none of the fuel resource is available within Japan and all this resource must be imported. Coal, oil and natural gas are all used to fuel Japan's economy. Prior to Fukushima disaster, about 20% of Japan's electricity also came from nuclear power generators. Since these have been stopped, additional imports of fuel are needed to make up the difference. An additional $50B/year is required, causing Japan's carbon footprint to grow since the reactors were stopped. In total, a financial burden of about $275B per year in fuel imports is necessary for Japan's well being. As Japan exports less, the economic stress associated with Japan's energy requirements will being a significant burden to later generations.
Japan has a goal to become less dependent on foreign fuel. Until the Fukushima disaster, Japan had planned to increase it's use of Nuclear Energy as a means of controlling both the costs and the carbon challenge associated with fossel fuel usage. In lieu of traditional Nuclear Energy, Japan is more challenged than ever to have an alternate strategy.
As viable alternatives, Japan's government has put incentives in place to increase electricity generation from Wind and Solar. In 2012, the government of Japan committed to a Feed In Tariff (FIT) for both wind and solar generation. The FIT assures that a fixed price is set for 20 years for a fixed amount of power to be provided by Mega Solar power generator. This scheme has been successful elsewhere in the world and has created a significant growth in solar farms in Japan. For solar specifically, the equipment itself is likely to remain productive well beyond the 20 year FIT. As such, Mega Solar farms are likely to produce power well beyond the FIT period at declining costs. The potential to replace the equivalent of Japan's entire Nuclear Energy generation (approximately 20%) is possible from solar energy over the next 7-10 years.