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Japanese oil company to invest in solar power

Solar power will become a major pillar in the expansion of one of Japan’s largest oil companies, as part of a new five-year growth strategy.

Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. has announced that it will take advantage of feed-in tariff arrangements for renewable energy, implemented by the Japanese government following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, to become a major producer of solar products.

The company says it must diversify its “menu of power sources” to reflect society’s demand for a low-carbon economy and will allocate free cash flow for investment into new solar module factories and power plants.

Japan’s feed-in tariff rates for renewables such as solar, wind and biomass energy are currently among the highest in the world. Although in the works for many years, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear reactor meltdown that followed sparked action on cleaning up the nation’s energy act.

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