Japan could strip FiT for a quarter of approved clean energy pipeline

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Roughly 26% of clean energy project capacity and 14.5% of individual projects certified before July last year could be affected. Source: Flickr/Caribb.

Japan may remove feed-in tariff (FiT) support for a significant number of clean energy projects certified before July last year, because they missed a deadline to secure grid access, according to provisional estimates from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

Out of the 3.15 million clean energy projects with a combined total of 106.5GW capacity that had secured approval for the subsidy by the end of June 2016, an estimated 456,000 projects with a combined capacity of 27.7GW have missed the 1 April deadline and could soon lose access to this support mechanism.

This means roughly 26% of certified capacity and 14.5% of individual projects could be affected.

However, projects that received certification after 1 July 2016 still have nine months to secure grid access.

In March, Toshimitsu Fujiki, a director at METI, announced that Japan would be lowering its FiT payments once again, while a multi-gigawatt pipeline of unbuilt large-scale PV projects would be cancelled and lose their rights to the FiT at the beginning of April.

Some 57GW of large-scale PV projects were registered for the FiT in the first two or three years of the scheme’s introduction after 2012, with would-be developers taking advantage of relatively relaxed rules on what constituted a project’s planning documents.

While the industry boomed, multiple non-PV firms also entered the industry and put forward plans to build facilities. In some cases it has been suspected that after taking the rights to build solar farms at FiT rates of as much as ¥42/kWh (US$0.38), developers have intentionally waited for equipment prices to keep dropping to maximise their profits.

The METI release on Friday said thats its certification system had led to a large number of unbuilt projects, hence its policy to bring in the 1 April deadline.

Last year, the Japanese government paid out ¥2.3 trillion in tariffs.

Read Next

May 7, 2021
German agriculture group BayWa has said its renewables business saw an “unusually strong” start to the year, driven by high demand for solar modules and the sale of a PV plant in Japan.
February 17, 2021
Canadian Solar has raised JPY22 billion (US$208 million) for its Japan Green Infrastructure Fund (JGIF), which will develop and accumulate solar projects in the Asian country.
February 1, 2021
Panasonic has announced plans to withdraw from manufacturing heterojunction (HJT) cells and modules with the closure of its manufacturing plants in Malaysia and Shimane Prefecture, Japan.
January 26, 2021
French solar asset owners are set for months of uncertainty and potential legal battles as the country’s government moves forward with efforts to retroactively cut feed-in tariffs (FiT) for some older PV power plants.
January 7, 2021
Private equity giant will invest US$374 million in solar and battery energy storage developer Amp Energy.
January 4, 2021
A round-up of solar news from throughout the holiday period including independent power producer Sonnedix's global expansion, US Solar Fund's solar-plus storage investment, and MPC Capital’s completion of a 6.4MWp solar project in El Salvador.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
May 11, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
May 26, 2021
Session 1 - 7:00 AM (BST) | Session 2 - 5:00 PM (BST)
Solar Media Events
June 15, 2021
Solar Media Events
July 6, 2021