With 100GW of solar by 2030 Japan could meet 11% of demand, says industry group

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

The Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA) has issued a strategy document outlining how the country could reach 100GW of installed PV generation capacity by 2030.

“PV Outlook 2030 – aiming for a sure path to a Smart Country” is an addendum to PV Outlook 2030, which has been published by JPEA at irregular intervals since 2010, with the last iteration issued in 2013.

In the document, the association explains that after the introduction of the FiT in 2012 spurred on the rapid increase of renewable energy, followed by a number of significant barriers and challenges at technical, regulatory and political level, it has become a matter of priority to carefully manage the Japanese PV industry’s progress towards 2030.

Somewhere between a forecast and a roadmap, the document has been issued numerous times since first being issued under a different name in 2002. JPEA said it has added to the previous version of the 2030 document to incorporate some lessons from the past year or so. The organisation also wrote that with 2030 now only 15 years away it was considered necessary to publish the new outline to support Japan’s industry as it transitions away from these recent high profile shocks to a more stable future.

JPEA says that by 2020, Japan could target 65.7GW of solar capacity, raising the bar from predictions made in 2013 for 49.4GW by that date. By reaching 100GW by 2030, the country would be meeting around 11.2% of its overall power generation demand with PV.

JPEA also recommends that measure be taken to raise the value of the domestic solar industry from being worth around 1% of GDP at present to double that figure by 2030.

Looking at the rest of the world, JPEA said Japan was not uncommon among countries with a maturing solar energy industry to be facing some of the trials it has, including balancing the peaks of solar production with demand.

The association, which styles itself more as a loose technical organisation of industry participants and stakeholders than an advocacy or lobbying group, last week also issued its latest monthly PV module shipment figures. According to JPEA, the Japanese industry shipped a total of 1.24GW in March 2015.

Earlier this month, the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation (JREF), which unlike JPEA is more of an advocacy group, issued a joint statement ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics along with the Japanese branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The two organisations pointed out the “ambitious” sustainability goals set for the Olympics and made a number or proposals for how these could be met. These include promoting the best use of renewable energy and educating the Japanese public around the issues, as well as partnering with as many stakeholders as possible on sustainability projects and targets.

“Triggered by the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, Japan achieved high economic growth and became one of the major economic powers. On the other hand, Japan has placed an unsustainable burden on our planet as a result of this growth.”

“The research results from The Living Planet Report 2014 published by WWF shows that we would need an equivalent of 2.3 planets if everyone in the world lived in the same lifestyle as the average Japanese citizen does,” The statement warns.

“In the Tokyo 2020 Games, Japan should lead the world in taking responsibility and presenting specific measures for these efforts.”

JPEA and JREF/WWF’s announcements have come shortly after Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) reported statistics for energy consumption in the country in the 2013 Financial Year.

The statistics show the possible scale of the task facing Japan in balancing its energy mix. Energy consumption overall in Japan has fallen 4.9% since the year preceding the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent nuclear shutdown, showing a 5.4% reduction from businesses and 7.4% from households, with a smaller drop, just over 1%, in the transport sector.

The energy debate in Japan is both complex and emotionally charged, as well as being inextricably linked to the country’s economic welfare. As is well known, the current government headed by prime minister Shinzo Abe seems set on a nuclear restart, although the scale and timeframe of reactivating nuclear plants is disputed, with some ageing reactors recommended for permanent decommissioning.

Meanwhile, utility companies have been widely reported by the international press to prefer the socially borne costs of nuclear to fossil fuel imports and lobby groups for heavy industry have been accused of both standing in the way of renewable energy development and of angling for the nuclear reactors to return.

Further complicating the issue is the fact that as a low emissions technology, nuclear offers an opportunity to make progress on carbon dioxide reductions. Tellingly, the METI assessment of energy use and demand pointed out that emissions increased in Japan by 8.4% between FY2010 and FY2013, as fossil fuels were burned to make up the shortfall left by nuclear.

An exploration of some of the recent and ongoing issues facing Japan's solar industry can be found in Volume 2 of PV Tech Power.

9 December 2021
The Smart Energy Council is hosting Australia’s second Virtual Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition on Thursday, 9 December 2021. This event will show that the industry powers on despite COVID-19 and we are standing together undeterred in spirit. Bringing our global community together using the latest technology.
21 December 2021
Where are PV modules going in 2022? Manufacturing trends, performance levels, most-bankable suppliers, and everything else you need to know! Hear two talks from Finlay Colville, head of PV Tech Research, that were first presented at the recent PV ModuleTech event. The first presentation analyses PV manufacturing and production through the value-chain at the end of 2021 and forecasted to the end of 2022. Over and under-supply issues through the c-Si value-chain in particular are covered, including also where the industry is going with n-type productivity during 2022. The second presentation reveals the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings hierarchy/pyramid, revealing which 40 module suppliers today are the most bankable for global module selection. Case-studies are reviewed, alongside how companies’ financial problems show up clearly in the final ratings grades assigned to each company, from AAA down to C-Rated suppliers.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.
1 February 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.

Read Next

December 9, 2021
Polish solar developer R.Power Group has signed contracts with infrastructure firms Nomad Electric and Onde for the construction of 135 solar PV plants in Poland with a combined capacity of 400MW
December 9, 2021
The US House of Representatives has passed the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act, which aims to ban imports from China’s Xinjiang region, by an overwhelming 428-1 in a move that could have serious consequences for the country’s solar industry.
December 9, 2021
US residential solar installer SunPower has launched a new financial services product aimed at making domestic renewables more affordable.
December 9, 2021
Investment firm KKR has launched a new utility-scale solar and energy storage development platform, dubbed Stellar Renewable Power.
December 8, 2021
Solar modules sold in the European Union (EU) could be subject to lower value added tax (VAT) rates after an agreement was reached this week by finance ministers from across the bloc.
December 8, 2021
Energy technology company AES has launched an artificially intelligent (AI) robot to support the construction of new solar projects. The company said the “first-of-its-kind” machine will make it faster, more efficient and safer to construct new solar facilities

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
December 21, 2021
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal

PV TECH POWER VOLUME 29 OUT NOW—Get 35% off your first year

Solar’s 2030 blueprint