In an initiative that would involve setting up offshore high-performance solar cells and wind turbines, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will be working with the private sector to develop the technologies.
These technologies include lithium-air batteries with ten times the energy density of lithium ion batteries, lightweight materials, and solar cells with about triple the energy conversion efficiency of products in the market today.
“Energy constraints should be an important lesson that we learn from the Great East Japan Earthquake,” said Banri Kaieda¸ Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, on Wednesday.
METI will provide subsidies of 580 billion yen (US$7.1 billion) for technological research in the initial fiscal 2011 budget, with an estimated 30 billion yen (US$371 million) dedicated to fields like renewable energy.
The agency plans to increase funding for renewable energy and power-saving technologies through redistributing research and development (R&D) funding or obtaining money from additional budgets.
It is also exploring methods to enhance the efficiency of fossil-fuel-burning power plants and other technologies, such as integrated coal gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power generation and superconductors that could reduce power losses during transition by about 90 per cent.
To further its collaboration with the private sector, including corporations and universities, METI is mulling the expansion of tax breaks for companies doing R&D in the above areas.