Japan's Fit guidelines in line with industry requests

JAPAN: A government panel has presented the Japanese government with the rates for the country's new feed-in Tariff (Fit) scheme.

The Kamisu wind farm on Japan's east coast withstood the tsunami
The Kamisu wind farm on Japan's east coast withstood the tsunami

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If the guidelines are approved by the Ministry for Energy, wind energy above 20kW will receive JPY 23.1/kWh ($0.28/kWh) and up to 20kW will receive JPY 57.75/kWh. PPAs will be for 20 years.

Solar will receive JPY 42/kWh for 20 years. Both rates are broadly in line with what the industry associations have requested.

The Fit legislation forms part of Japan's renewable-energy bill, which was passed in the upper house of parliament last year.

It aims to reduce the country's reliance on nuclear power following the disaster at the Fukushima power plant. The legislation also aims to reduce the country's greenhouse emissions to 25% of its 1990 level by 2020.

The Fit legislation comes as Japan's government and industry is increasingly looking to wind power. Last year, Toshiba acquired part of Korean wind turbine manufacturer Unison and in March Hitachi acquired Fuji Heavy Industries wind-power division.

The country is moving towards developing a floating offshore wind farm. In March, Japanese trading house Marubeni was given government approval to create a feasibility study for a floating wind farm off the Fukushima coast.

Marubeni is set to team up with Mitsubishi to develop a trial wind project, consisting of three turbines and a substation, by 2016.

The 'Fukushima Recovery Floating Wind Farm Pilot Project' will run in two phases. The first will involve the installation of a 2MW turbine and a substation, while the second will see two 7MW turbines added.

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