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Japanese Ministry to Double Budget for Clean Energy Development

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will more than double the budget for developing clean energy in the year starting April 1 to boost renewables.

Of a total 97.7 billion yen ($1 billion), 25 billion yen will go toward power grids including a network in Hokkaido, northern Japan, to spur wind power, according to a summary of the budget distributed to reporters. The Cabinet today approved the first cut in total government spending in seven years. The budget needs to be approved by the Diet, Japan’s parliament.

METI will spend 14.5 billion yen on developing wind power, including a floating project being developed offshore Fukushima, where a 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused a nuclear meltdown.

It will spend 4.4 billion yen to develop large batteries to store power and help match volatile energy generation from wind and solar sources to demand from consumers. The clean energy budget in the year ending March 31 was 43.5 billion yen.

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