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Thursday, 29th January 2009
In General Japan News,

Japan 'presses ahead on solar power development'

A new solar power plant is to be constructed near Tokyo as Japan continues to press ahead with its advancement into the global renewable energy market.

Tokyo Electric Power this week announced plans to construct a large solar power plant in the Yamanashi prefecture.

It is hoped activity at the ten-megawatt hub will start operating in 2011 after construction is completed a year earlier.

This comes after Sharp and Kansai Electric Power last year revealed plans to build new factory in Sakai, found in western Japan.

It will develop solar panels and could eventually have the potential to generate 18 megawatts of energy.

However, despite these advancements, it could be a while before the development of a solar-powered car, an expert has indicated.

Tony Markel, a senior engineer at the US government's National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado told CNN: "Being able to power a car entirely with solar is a pretty far-reaching goal."

His comments come after Toyota has developed a new Prius model which features an optional solar roof panel that powers the car's ventilation system, even when the engine is not working.