Solar panels will be mandatory on new homes in Tokyo

Tokyo’s local assembly today ruled that all new houses built by large-scale homebuilders in the Japanese capital must have solar panels installed from April 2025.

This is the first time a Japanese municipality has mandated solar on new homes. It means that around 50 major builders will be required to supply homes that are up to 21,500 square feet (2,000 square meters) in size with renewables – and in particular, solar panels.

Home buyers that privately contract the construction of a residence 2,000 square meters or more will also be required to install solar panels.

Kyodo News writes:

The metropolitan government estimates that the 980,000 yen ($7,200) initial cost for installation of the 4-kilowatt panels can be covered within 10 years from electricity sales revenue and can be further reduced down to six years with subsidies it will provide.

Subsidies for the initial costs will also be provided to leasing firms to reduce the burden on home buyers, the metropolitan government said.

Only 4% of buildings in Tokyo that are able to host solar panels actually have them at present, according to Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike.

Tokyo’s metropolitan government aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, compared with 2000 levels. The city has a population of nearly 14 million people.

Japan increased its renewable power generation target overall from the previous 22-24% to 36-38% by 2030. Renewables are forecast to account for 34.6% of Japan’s generation mix in 2030, falling just short of its goal.

In October 2020, Japan, the world’s fifth-largest carbon emitter, pledged to reach net zero by 2050.

Read more: Five of Asia’s biggest economies are forecast to see dramatic solar growth

Photo: Tokyo Institute of Technology Green Hills Building 1 view from the bottom/ykanazawa1999/flickr

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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.