Japan Likely Gets Feed-In Tariffs for Solar, Wind and Geothermal

Japan Likely Gets Feed-In Tariffs for Solar, Wind and Geothermal

Only 1% of Japan’s total power capacity can be sourced back to solar energy. The country’s lack of sufficient subsidies is major factor in this – It has already been known for quite some time that Japan has been looking at feed-in tariffs (FITs) to push solar power to become more affordable.

According to Reuters, Japan proposed 20-year feed-in tariff of 42 yen or $0.52 (per kWh) on April 25, likely starting as soon as July 1.

Mount Komekura Photovoltaic power plant in Kofu, Japan
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Twice the amount as in Europe

A feed-in tariff of $0.52 is roughly twice the amount of the FIT-schemes that already have existed for some time in many parts of Europe.

A FIT-scheme is a great strategy to encourage people to put solar on top of their roof and make investing in larger scale renewable farms and plants more attractive for utility-companies. This will not only increase Japan’s total renewable energy capacity, but also bring the prices of renewable energy sources down, hopefully on par with fossil fuels and nuclear.

Wind and geothermal FIT-schemes to follow

If the solar-feed in tariff goes through, wind and geothermal schemes likely is to follow. The proposed rates are 23.1 and 27.3 yen per kWh for wind and geothermal power. If the wind and geothermal power feed-in tariffs will be realized is largely a factor of what the public thinks of the solar feed-in tariff.

Moving away from nuclear

Japan is well known for nuclear, but things have been changing since the Fukushima disaster early last year. It is clear that the new FIT-schemes will push Japan’s energy system away from atomic power in the long run.

A five member Japanese panel will discuss the new solar FIT-scheme and submit recommendations to Trade Minister Yukio Edano, which likely will take the final decision for whether the new tariff will accepted or not in the end of May.

The new feed-in tariffs will most certainly boost the solar industry in Japan. With the addition of geothermal and wind FIT-schemes, the foundations of a flourish renewable energy sector has been laid.

This article is written by Mathias from EnergyInformative, a site that is dedicated to inform people about wind, solar, geothermal and other forms of green energy.

Source: Reuters