Japanese mobile telecommunications company Softbank will enter the Japanese commercial energy retail market through subsidiaries, selling electricity generated from renewable sources including solar and wind power. The firm would sell electricity directly to businesses. Launch dates and further details are yet to be given.
Softbank registered the company as a power producer and supplier to the Japanese market following changes to the regulation of the commercial electricity market in the country. Softbank founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son, one of Japan’s richest men, is an outspoken advocate of renewable energy. Softbank has been generating energy from solar plants it owns for a year and a half. The company announced the construction of two more PV plants totalling 42MW of capacity in November 2013.
According to Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei, Softbank also intends to join the residential electricity market, but not until 2016, when liberalisation and unbundling of the Japanese energy market is expected to be completed.
Electricity will be sold to businesses through SB Power, a division of SB Energy Corp, which in turn is a subsidiary of Softbank.
Electronics company Panasonic also recently announced plans to join the electricity retail market as a vendor – however unlike Softbank, Panasonic will begin by selling aggregated electricity from residential solar power through a joint venture (JV) with utility EPCO.