U.S. schools aren’t the only ones going big for solar power these days. Kyocera reports that it has installed 1,200 solar power generating systems at public schools in Japan as part of the country’s “School New Deal” initiative, developed to broadly enrich the nation’s educational facilities. Kyocera is said to lead all other suppliers on this segment of the Japanese market.
The School New Deal initiative was developed following the financial crisis of 2009 (much like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the U.S.) to invest in the nation’s infrastructure–specifically, its schools. Through the initiative, Japanese schools have been retrofitted or constructed to higher earthquake-resistant building standards and have been outfitted with solar generating systems as well as with other improvements aimed at lessening environmental impacts and increasing the use of information and communications technology in the school system as a whole.
According to the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA), Japan’s public and industrial-use solar power market has expanded by roughly 3.6 times between the fiscal years of 2005 to 2010.
Kyocera believes that its ability to deliver a diverse range of systems optimized to suit different conditions–a core requirement for the public and industrial market–has been the key to its success in this market. Kyocera holds the No.1 share with over 40% of the Japanese school market.