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Japan's biomass power capacity seen growing 50% by early 2020s

An economical alternative to solar energy picks up steam

An eRex biomass power plant in Oita Prefecture with an output capacity of 50,000kW.

TOKYO -- Biomass power plants in Japan will be able to meet the electricity needs of at least 9 million households by the early 2020s, up 50% from the current level, a sign that power generation by burning wood chips and other renewable materials is catching on here.

Forty-two companies responding to a Nikkei survey sent to 45 companies, including major power providers and members of a renewable energy industry group, have a combined biomass power generation capacity of 800,000kW, and that is set to increase by 1.7 million kilowatts by 2023.

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