New Sunshine Programme

Last updated: 24 August 2021
In 1974, the Ministry of International Trade an Industry (MITI), from 2001 the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), launched the "Sunshine Project," a long-term comprehensive plan for the research and development of new energy technologies. The "Moonlight Project" was established in 1978 to boost energy conservation efforts. An RD & D system focusing on global environment technologies was established in 1989. In 1993, the "New Sunshine Program" integrated the three above-mentioned projects. This new programme aimed at sustainable growth and the resolution of energy and environmental problems. The short-term target of the programme by 2000 (phase 1) was to develop PV technology that could produce electricity at a cost competitive with conventional electricity rates of JP¥ 20-30 per kWh. Phase 1 RD & D was focused on: - Solar cell (thin-film and super-high efficiency solar cell manufacturing technologies, solar cell evaluation systems, etc). -PV power generation (system evaluation, BOS, demonstrative research). -Development of low energy consumption manufacturing for SOG-Si. -Technology for high-efficiency multi-crystalline silicon solar cells. When RD & D Phase 1 came to a close in 2000, a continuation of RD & D funding from fiscal year (FY) 2001 throughout FY 2005 was approved. NEDO is responsible for implementing renewable energy policy via the New Sunshine Program. The ultimate responsibility lies with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). The New Energy Foundation (NEF) also assists in renewable policy implementation. The total RD & D budget for the New Sunshine Programme was about JP¥ 56 billion in 1996. The government promotes the penetration and use of new energy technologies through the New Sunshine Program. However, renewables RD & D, which totalled JP¥ 13.2 billion in 1997, only accounts for 3% of total energy-related RD & D (the vast majority, over three-quarters, is funding for nuclear power research). Of government renewable RD & D funding, solar electricity research received the most support (an estimated JP¥ 8.2 billion in 1997), followed by geothermal energy. The solar energy programmes aim to reduce the production cost of PV to JP¥ 100-200 per Wp by 2000, compared to JP¥ 600 per Wp in 1992.

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