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Japanese Renewables Portfolio Standard legislation passed but is criticised

The Japanese government has passed legislation for a Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). Under the legislation, which sets a minimum standard for the proportion of renewables power in the country's electricity portfolio, Japan's utilities will be obliged to source 1.1% of their total electricity supply from renewables by 2010. To prove compliance they must acquire the appropriate number of green power credits. Utilities can meet the obligation through their own production or by buying green power from independent power producers. The law has, however, come in for heavy criticism from the renewables lobby as it also includes electricity generated from waste -- pushing out "greener" sources of power like wind (Windpower Monthly, April 2002). The environment ministry fears the result could mean even more CO2 emissions, not less. The new law has also been received with a certain amount of apprehension among the private wind sector. Green Energy Network Japan says the law will hinder the spread of wind energy.

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