Completely Clueless Yomiuri Editorial

As blogged before, Yomiuri Shimbun called for reducing the feed-in tariffs on day two of the new Japanese system.

Now they have followed up with another editorial where they warn that Japan needs to learn from “the German failure”.

Of course nothing much else is to expected from them. And, as frequently with foreign anti-renewable propaganda forces, they fail to get their basic facts right. Here are a couple of their most glaring mistakes.

They write:

Under these circumstances, the German government is reportedly planning to increase the charges to be added to electricity bills.

That already clearly shows they lack clue one. As anybody remotely paying attention knows, the surcharges are set each year for the next one, and they have been increased on October 15th to 5.277 cents euro per kWh. You need to be really way out of the loop to get that one wrong right now.

They write:

It is estimated the additional power charges levied on households will be in excess of 10,000 yen a year on average.

Actually, for the average household consuming 3,500 kWh a year, those surcharges add up to 184.70 euro a year, which is around 19.200 yen at today’s rate of 103 yen per euro. They don’t even get their numbers right when it would suit their anti-renewable propaganda agenda.

They write:

German consumers have reacted strongly to the proposal, with one critic saying solar power generation should be deemed the “most costly mistake in the history of German environment policy.”

In reality, 93% of Germans think that the further deployment of renewable in Germany is important or extremely important, according to the latest polls in October of this year. Their anonymous critic is not speaking for the German people, but for a fringe minority loser position.

They write:

With the German renewable energy market rapidly progressing on inexpensive solar panels from China, purchasing costs have continued to increase.

This is actually half true (congratulations, Yomiuri). However, they don’t understand that with costs down radically, the 7 GW a year added recently only adds 0.035 cents per GW to the surcharge costs (Fraunhofer report, page 18).

They also don’t seem to understand that explosive growth of renewable is necessary if you want to achieve a society not dependent on nuclear even one day earlier, as the Japanese government does.

So before Yomiuri starts lecturing about “Germany’s failures”, they should have someone explain to them the basic facts about Germany’s system.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

2 thoughts on “Completely Clueless Yomiuri Editorial

  1. Thanks. And thanks also for the friendly link at Twitter.
    I find that many proponents of nuclear energy try to talk down renewable, not understanding that this only further weakens their position.


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