Japan is leaving many of its Nuclear reactors offline for a variety of reasons. The result is Japanese imports of oil and gas have gone up considerably. As I have said before there is no perfect solution for energy, and for Japan I can see how, in a post fukushima world, is wary of the risks. However, this is going to have a real increase in CO2 emissions and make Japan more dependent on a less stable middle east. Particularly as Iran tries to join the nuclear club, and as Iran’s oil exports on constricted by sanctions. This could serve as a portent of what the future holds for Germany, as it plans to shutter its nuclear reactors by 2022. Germany has no need to do this as they are not at a high risk from a large earthquake or tsunami.
Source: Washington Post
Price drops in Germany for electricity as a long term trend. The blue line is price and the columns are solar electricity capacity. This is matches up with increased use of solar power. 80% of the installed panels are on rooftops. Houses in California have higher resale when they solar panels installed. Perhaps because of fear of rolling blackouts. Germany has complicated of incentives designed to trail off as the technology becomes more widely implemented, kind of like a dutch auction. Germany is an good case study for the US. It has basically no oil fields, so it must make something out of nothing energy wise. Still this only about 3.2% of Germany’s electrical use.