Renewable energy loans surge


Japan Finance Corp. saw its loans for projects related to renewable energy surge 4.1-fold from a year before in the April-September period thanks to the introduction of a new feed-in tariff system in July, according to sources.

The government-affiliated lender extended ¥10.761 billion in such loans in the first half of fiscal 2012, the sources said, adding that the number of projects involved doubled year on year, reaching 925.

In fiscal 2011, main borrowers of the lender’s renewable energy promotion loans were real estate companies seeking to install solar panels at condominium complexes under their management amid concerns about electricity shortages amid the nuclear power shutdown.

But in the current fiscal year, loans to small and midsize companies and self-employed people have been increasing as they started power generation businesses using renewable energy on the back of the feed-in tariff system, the sources said.

In the first half, the lender’s renewable energy loans shot up 28.7-fold in sunny Kyushu. Loans increased 10.6-fold in the Kinki region and 2.5-fold in the Tokai region, according to the sources.

Japan Finance is also active in providing loans in fields other than solar power. By June, it had extended loans jointly with Toho Bank, a regional bank in Fukushima Prefecture, to Green Hatsuden Aizu Co. in Aizuwakamatsu. The firm produces wood biomass for generating power.