Japan Approves 16% Solar-Tariff Cut on Falling Costs From July
BLOOMBERG - Japan approved a proposal to cut the incentive for solar power by as much as 16 percent as the costs of operation and maintenance fell.
The tariff for applications approved from April 1 to June 30 will be lowered to 29 yen (24 cents) a kilowatt-hour from 32 yen as proposed last month by a panel in charge of reviewing the country’s renewable-energy incentives.
The tariff will be reduced again to 27 yen a kilowatt-hour beginning in July, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a statement Thursday. The rates are good for 20 years.
The cut in July will mark the end of a three-year premium period for solar. Japan introduced an incentive program for clean energy in July 2012, with tariffs set higher at the outset to encourage investment.
Post-FIT Japan: Manufacturers Promote Solar PV with Inverter-Integrated Energy Storage
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD - The Japanese government has announced the new feed-in tariff (FIT) rate for the fiscal year 2015, effective April 1st. The new FIT rate for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will be ¥33/kWh, down from ¥37/kWh the previous fiscal year.
“In a few years, the Japanese PV market will be shifted to the self-consumption mode, in which excess generated electricity (via PV) will be stored (instead of being sold) due to declining FIT incentive rates and raising electricity prices, and pushed by upcoming events such as the retail electricity deregulation in 2016 and utility restructuring of unbundling generation, transmission, and distribution in 2020,” said a manager from Sharp, a leading PV system maker in Japan.
The fiscal year 2015 represents the end of “premium” FIT rates that the national government promised to provide during the first three years (2012-2015) of the FIT program. PV homeowners and PV industry participants are uncertain about how much a new buy-out rate will be after this fiscal year. “People who are familiar with the electricity industry are projecting much lower rates — between ¥9 and ¥12/kWh,” commented a Japanese PV integrator about the post-FIT buy-out rate.