Sales of solar panels for Japanese homes are up 30.7 percent in 2011, despite — or, let’s be real, because of — the economic hit the country took in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Sales rose to 1,296 MW, which at high noon on a sunny day is a ton of power — as much as a decent-size conventional power plant. (Granted, the sun doesn’t always shine, blah blah blah. But on the other hand it’s often shining when demand is at its peak — during the day.)

Importantly,  Japan’s solar revolution is almost entirely grass-roots. The overwhelming majority of solar panels purchased in the country were for residences.

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