Goldman Sachs to invest in Japan’s renewables

Over the next five years, the American multinational banking firm plans to develop a series of renewable energy projects in the Asian country, tapping demand for electricity generated from solar and wind power plants, reported Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. aims to invest as much as 50 billion yen ($487 million) in Japan’s emergent renewable energy sector.

Over the next five years, the American multinational banking firm plans to develop a series of renewable energy projects in the Asian country, tapping demand for electricity generated from solar and wind power plants, reported Bloomberg.

“We believe that we can leverage our global expertise in investing in renewable energy in places such as the U.S. and India, to help expand Japan’s renewable power capabilities,” Ankur Sahu, co-head of the merchant banking division in the Asia-Pacific, told Bloomberg.

The investment came after the Japanese government approved what has been touted as the world’s most generous feed-in tariff scheme for renewable energy projects (see related story).

Last August, Goldman Sachs created the Japan Renewable Energy Co. unit to develop and operate power plants using clean technologies, such as solar, wind, fuel cells and biomass.

As for its first project, the company on Monday announced a large-scale solar power plant in the Ibaraki Prefecture. Located across castle town and village Mito, the solar project will have a 40-megawatt generating capacity.

Attracting investors

The renewables incentive program, which is the country’s major move to transform its energy mix in the wake of Fukushima disaster, has been attracting significant number of investors since its implementation in July 2012.

Among them are billionaire Masayoshi Son’s Softbank Corp. which has 11 solar projects planned (see related story) and one of the country’s biggest banks Mizuho Financial Group which is backing a 70 MW solar facility – the largest to date in the country (see related story).

With more and more investments coming in, Japan is set to be the world’s second largest solar market after China and pass Germany and the United States in 2013, forecasted MS Research, part of consultancy firm IHS Inc. (see related story).

Not only that, another report from Frost and Sullivan predicted the country’s wind energy market is also set to boom this year starting with the plan to build 1-gigawatt offshore wind farm in Fukushima prefecture – the world’s largest when completed by 2020 (see related story). – C. Dominguez

ECOticias.com – EcoSeed

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