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Goldman Sachs to invest big in renewable energy

Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said Monday that it plans to invest as much as ¥50 billion in renewable energy projects in Japan in the next five years, tapping demand for electricity produced from solar and wind-power generators.

The Wall Street firm also plans to take as much as ¥250 billion in bank loans and project-financing over the same period to move ahead with projects that would cost a total of ¥300 billion, said Hiroko Matsumoto, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman for Goldman.

Japan began offering incentives in July through feed-in tariffs to encourage renewables amid the Fukushima nuclear crisis. Japan has been forced to slash its reliance on atomic power since the crisis started.

“We believe that we can leverage our global expertise in investing in renewable energy in places such as the U.S. and India, to help expand Japan’s renewable power capabilities,” Ankur Sahu, cohead of the merchant banking division in the Asia-Pacific, said by email.

Goldman Sachs formed the Japan Renewable Energy Co. unit in August to plan, design and operate power plants run on sun, wind, fuel cells and biomass fuels, it said on its website.

Renewable energy has attracted interest from investors ranging from billionaire Masayoshi Son’s Softbank Corp. and financial-services company Orix Corp. to the country’s biggest banks, led by Mizuho Financial Group Inc.

Japan will probably become the largest solar market in the world after China this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Commercial and utility-scale projects will boost solar installations to a range of 6.1 gigawatts to 9.4 gigawatts in 2013, exceeding an earlier forecast of 3.2 gigawatts to 4 gigawatts, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in April.

Companies that stand to benefit include Kyocera Corp., Sharp Corp. and Suntech Power Japan Corp., all of which make and sell solar panels for residential and industrial use.

MHI buys turbine unit

Kyodo

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said Monday it has completed the acquisition of the small and midsize gas turbine business arm of U.S. aircraft engine-maker Pratt & Whitney to provide a wider range of products for thermal power generation systems.

MHI, which is slated to integrate its thermal power generation operations with Hitachi Ltd.’s next January, has traditionally focused its gas turbine business on large systems. The Pratt & Whitney unit will allow it to expand its product portfolio to a full lineup, it said.