The development trend of new energy power generation industry in the United States, Japan and EU

1. U.S.

The Obama administration regards the development of new energy sources as one of its biggest selling points during its tenure, and it is also an important measure to compare its sustainability to China. Under the current situation, the US government’s energy development strategy will not change much, and the renewable energy power generation industry will be the consistent development direction of the US government.

At present, due to the trade disputes between the wind power and photovoltaic “dual reverse” investigations with China, the cost of developing wind power and photovoltaic power in the United States may increase. Judging from the financial situation of the United States, how to guarantee the funds required for the continued advancement of the renewable energy power generation industry will be a difficult problem. In addition, the fluctuation of international oil prices is an important factor affecting the development of the new energy power generation industry in the United States.

2. Japan

As an industrialized developed country with the highest degree of dependence on foreign energy, Japan is the best choice to ensure its energy and environmental security to develop nuclear energy and renewable energy. However, after the Fukushima nuclear accident hit the Japanese economy and public confidence, the Japanese government finally announced that it would suspend its nuclear power development plan and adopted a series of measures to demonstrate this determination. Recently, the Japanese government has greatly increased its interest in photovoltaic power generation, and has also introduced the “Renewable Energy Special Measures Act.” The purchase price of solar power is set at 42 yen (US$0.53) per kilowatt, which is three times the current traditional electricity price for industrial use. The period is as long as 20 years, becoming the highest level of photovoltaic subsidies in the world. Some studies believe that, according to the current subsidy program, Japan can become the world’s second largest photovoltaic market in two years, and may even surpass Germany. However, due to the small size of the country, the author believes that the development of photovoltaic power generation in Japan will be promoted in the form of building integration, self-sufficiency first, and large-scale grid-connected concentrated photovoltaic power plants may not be the priority development direction. In addition, Japan may also use its research advantages in advanced energy storage materials to combine wind power and energy storage technology to reduce the current “wind abandonment” problem that is common in the wind power industry, and make the development of wind power in Japan enter a new growth period. However, at present, the amount of renewable energy resources that can be exploited and the space available are not very impressive for Japan, and there are not many options for Japan to abandon its nuclear weapons. How to change the energy utilization structure without affecting the production and life of the national economy will be a difficult problem for successive Japanese governments.

3. European Union

The situation in the various EU countries is different. The UK’s policy has always been conservative, and its development of the new energy power generation industry will not change much in the near future. It is estimated that the development of the UK’s photovoltaic and wind power industries will also remain at a low speed. France is a country that relies heavily on nuclear power. The proportion of nuclear power in France’s new energy generation will not change much, but France has also begun to increase investment in photovoltaic power generation. According to the plan of the French government, France will install equipment with a power of 200MW each year, so as to achieve the goal of 5400MW of photovoltaic power generation and solar equipment by 2020. Germany is currently the world’s largest photovoltaic power generation country, but recently, the Merkel government’s enthusiasm for investing in photovoltaic power generation has declined, and a photovoltaic subsidy reduction bill has been submitted to the parliament. Once the bill is passed by the parliament, the photovoltaic power generation industry in Germany will be greatly affected, and the annual installed photovoltaic capacity may drop sharply, repeating the situation in Spain. Italy is an upstart in photovoltaic power generation, with annual installed capacity approaching Germany. However, it has also been reported that Italy is about to reduce the funding budget for photovoltaic projects, and it is expected that the situation of large growth in photovoltaic installations in Italy will be difficult to maintain. In Greece, the Czech Republic and other countries, affected by the European debt crisis, the investment in photovoltaics will not change much in the near future, and may even be further reduced. All walks of life in Spain are interested in wind power generation, and wind power generation is also developing rapidly in Spain. In 2009, Spain’s wind power generation was 35.8 billion kWh, accounting for 12.5% of the country’s total power generation. However, recently due to the impact of the European debt crisis, the government has withdrawn its subsidy policy for wind power, and it is expected that wind power will fail in Spain.

The previous article has discussed the development status of new energy power generation in the United States, the development status of new energy power generation in Japan and the development status of new energy power generation in the European Union.