Feed In Tariffs to Vault Japanese Solar Industry

April 10, 2013


Japan Times:

Japan will probably become the largest solar market in the world after China this year, boosted by an incentive program that offers above-market rates for energy from renewable sources.

Commercial and utility-scale projects will boost solar installations to a range of 6.1 gigawatts to 9.4 gigawatts in 2013, exceeding an earlier forecast of 3.2 gigawatts to 4 gigawatts, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a research note.

“The upward revision was done because of the rapid increase in shipments seen last quarter as well as the fact that the pipeline of projects is even stronger than previously expected,” BNEF said in the report released March 29.

The forecast reflects the push by Japan to find alternative sources of energy due to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, which prompted the closure of all but two of the nation’s nuclear reactors.

The government began offering incentives last July through feed-in tariffs to encourage investments in energy sources such as wind and solar.

Lawson Inc. installed solar panels on the roofs of 1,000 of its convenience stores by the end of February and plans to set up systems for another 1,000 outlets, company spokesman Yuuki Takemoto said. Lawson uses panels by Solar Frontier K.K. and Panasonic Corp.

Lawson sells electricity generated from solar panels to utilities and plans to use the income for mroe energy-saving equipment, the spokesman said.

“The feed-in tariff has been successful in sparking interest and potential for unprecedented growth in solar,” Travis Woodward, a Tokyo-based solar analyst at BNEF, said in an emailed message. “This large introduction of solar is significant enough to compliment other strategies to alleviate power demand issues from idling almost all nuclear plants in Japan. Solar system prices will need to come down closer to global average, however, to make a sustainable market.”


15 Responses to “Feed In Tariffs to Vault Japanese Solar Industry”

  1. Shane Burgel Says:

    Makes me wonder if we will ever get to a point at which other countries are sanctioning US, because we are still contributing to the carbon problem.

  2. kap55 Says:

    Japan’s feed-in-tariff for solar power is 42 cents per kWh.

  3. almost the same. Yup, its gonna make Japanese solar take off.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      They’re serious. Important to remember that the Japanese are much more efficient than we in the US, and a higher rate on a feed in tariff is not the same
      as a huge boost in a monthly bill.

    • phills2013 Says:

      $0.42 per kwh ($420 per Mwh) is not an outrageously high price, particularly for peak power. Here in Texas, ERCOT recently upped the maximum price for peak power from $3,000 per Mwh to $4,500 per Mwh. Yes, that’s $4.50 per kwh – and generators can get prices of that magnitude during periods of high usage.

      Since the output curve for solar energy tracks the daily demand curve pretty well, increased use of solar can help ‘flatten’ the peak demand curve and keep utilities from having to buy peaking power at premium prices.


      • MorinMoss Says:

        That’s a very good point – one that our good friends at the Denialist Clearinghouse ignore or gloss over when kvetching about how much is “wasted” on “pointless intermittent” energy.

  4. MorinMoss Says:

    So the Land of the Midnight Sun has chosen to make the most of brighter days.
    A very good step.

    America, are you listening?

  5. […] Japan Times: Japan will probably become the largest solar market in the world after China this year, boosted by an incentive program that offers above-market rates for energy from renewable sources…  […]

  6. […] 2013/04/10: PSinclair: Feed In Tariffs to Vault Japanese Solar Industry […]

  7. neilrieck Says:

    While the following link deals with issues in Europe (reactors in Britain), I think it is wise to remember that these issues apply to North America as well.


  8. daryan12 Says:

    ….And also worth remembering that Portugal just achieved 70% renewables output on its electricity grid for a whole quarter (on a per kWh basis). It just goes to show what’s achievable.

    Oddly enough solar figures only slightly so far in Portugal, but this is set to change at somepoint.

    What I find odd is how the UK/US seem to be dithering and hand wringing about whether 100% renewables is possible, while some European countries are just getting on with it.

    • MorinMoss Says:

      That achievement was helped by much better than normal hydro output.
      If Portugal ramps up their solar to more closely match their wind energy, they would reach those impressive numbers more consistently.

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