“Solar Farmers in Japan to Harvest Electricity With Crops”
Japan’s campaign to boost renewable power supplies since the Fukushima nuclear disaster is producing some unlikely winners: vegetable farmers.
Makoto Takazawa and his father Yukio earned 1.7 million yen ($16,700) last fiscal year selling electricity from solar panels that hang in a giant canopy above their farm east of Tokyo. The cash was almost nine times more than they made from the crops growing in the soil below.
Under pressure from trade partners to reduce agricultural subsidies, Japan has found a way round this by giving clean energy subsidies to farmers instead.