Japan Steps Toward More Renewable Energy With New Feed-In Tariff

solar panel installation in japan photo

photo: Bernd/CC BY-SA
Japan's post-Fukushima energy rethink continues, with the legislature approving a new bill establishing a strong feed-in tariff for renewable energy. As Wind-Works reports, the new law will go into effect in July 2012 and, though not established explicitly, sets a target of 30 GW additional renewable energy over the next ten years.Under the program, the rate for renewable energy sources other than solar power will be 20 yen/kWh, compared to the current price for grid electricity of 13.77 yen for commercial users (Bloomberg). For solar power the current tariff is 42 yen/kWh for residential generation and 40 yen/kWh for solar power produced by businesses and schools.

Currently Japan's renewable energy sources supply about 9% of its electricity. Solar power made up 3.68 GW of installed renewable energy capacity at the end of 2010; wind power was just over 2.3 GW.

Paul Gipe talks about the important boost the program could give to feed-in tariffs more broadly:

Japan's bold step away from nuclear power could provide impetus to feed-in tariffs in North America, where the policy has been slow to gain traction outside of Ontario, Canada, and the state of Vermont.

Adoption of feed-in tariffs by Japan--a country with an industrial economy built around competitive exports--is a seeming endorsement at the highest international level that rapid development of renewable energy is desirable, if not essential, and that feed-in tariffs are the policy best suited for the task.

More on Renewable Energy
Japan's Solar Surge Continues (Video)
Is Now The Time to Rethink Japan's Energy Future?

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