Solar power in Japan

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Solar power in Japan has been expanding since the late 1990s. The country is a leading manufacturer of photovoltaics (PV) and a large installer of domestic PV systems with most of them grid connected.[1] Japan has an insolation of about 4.3 to 4.8 kWh/(m²·day).

Solar power has become an important national priority since the country's shift in policies toward renewable energy after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.[2][3] Japan was the world's second largest market for solar PV growth in 2013 and 2014, adding a record 6.97 GW and 9.74 GW of nominal nameplate capacity, respectively. By the end of 2016, cumulative capacity reached 42,750 MW, the world's second largest solar PV installed capacity, behind China.[4] Overall installed capacity in 2016 was estimated to be sufficient to supply almost 5% of the nation's annual electricity demand.[4] Although solar power represents a significant and growing source of electricity generation in the country, hydroelectricity still had the largest share of renewable energy with 49.9 GW. This can be compared to the 33 GW of installed solar capacity in Japan after 2015.[5][6]

Government action[edit]

Feed-in tariff[edit]

The Japanese government is seeking to expand solar power by enacting subsidies and a feed-in tariff (FIT). In December 2008, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced a goal of 70% of new homes having solar power installed, and would be spending $145 million in the first quarter of 2009 to encourage home solar power.[7] The government enacted a feed-in tariff on November, 2009 that requires utilities to purchase excess solar power sent to the grid by homes and businesses and pay twice the standard electricity rate for that power.[8]

On June 18, 2012, a new feed-in tariff was approved, of 42 Yen/kWh. The tariff covers the first ten years of excess generation for systems less than 10 kW, and generation for twenty years for systems over 10 kW. It became effective July 1, 2012.[9] In April 2013, the FIT was reduced to 37.8 Yen/kWh.[10] The FIT was further reduced to 32 Yen/kWh in April 2014.[11]

In March 2016, a new feed-in tariff was approved. The Procurement Price Calculation Committee compiled and publicized recommendations concerning the FY 2016 purchase prices and the periods therefor. Respecting the recommendations, METI finalized the prices and periods therefor as below.

(1) Electricity generated by photovoltaic power for non-household customers (10 kW or more) was reduced from 27 yen/kWh to 24 yen/kWh.

(2) Electricity generated by photovoltaic power for household customers (10 kW or less) was reduced from 33 yen/kWh to 31 yen/kWh when generators are not required to have output control equipment installed. When generators are required to have output control equipment installed the price was reduced from 35 yen/kWh to 33 yen/kWh. [12]

Residential PV feed-in tariffs for systems below 10 kW were updated in 2017 to values between JPY24/kWh to JPY28/kWh depending on the circumstances. These will remain unchanged until 2019.[13]

The most recent FIT only concerns non-residential solar power plants. The new non-residential FIT will go from JPY21/kWh in 2017 to JPY18/kWh for facilities certified in and after April 2018.[13]

Targets[edit]

The government set solar PV targets in 2004 and revised them in 2009:[14]

  • 28 GW of solar PV capacity by 2020
  • 53 GW of solar PV capacity by 2030
  • 10% of total domestic primary energy demand met with solar PV by 2050

The targets set for 2020 were surpassed in 2014, and the target for 2030 is expected to be surpassed in 2017-2018.

New targets were adopted after 2011.

Japanese solar cell production (in GW)
  Total    Export    Domestic

Solar manufacturing industry[edit]

Japan is a leading manufacturer of photovoltaics. In other words, photovoltaic devices use semiconductors in order to generate electricity from the sunlight. [15]Solar companies of Japan include: Kyocera, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Sanyo, Sharp Solar, Solar Frontier, and Toshiba.

Notable projects[edit]

The Solar Ark is a 315 meter wide, 37 meter tall educational platform about renewable energy

The Solar Ark, built in 2002, is one of the largest solar buildings in the world.[16]

After the shift away from a nuclear power-dependent energy policy in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident,[17] the first three solar plants by TEPCO were completed in 2011 and 2012, the Ukishima Solar Power Plant, 7 MW, the Ogishima Solar Power Plant, 13 MW, and the Komekurayama Solar Power Plant, 10 MW. The output of all three can be monitored on the internet.[18]

341 MW of photovoltaics are planned for the island of Hokkaido, and a total of 1,800 MW of photovoltaics projects have been approved for Japan, as of October 2012.[19]

Additional projects include the 70MW Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant by Kyocera in Kagoshima Prefecture that went online in November 2013 and a 100 MW plant by Toshiba in Minami Soma, Fukushima Prefecture.[20][21]

A 77 MW photovoltaic power plant is planned for Tahara City, on the Atsumi Peninsula, and is expected to be completed in 2014.[22] A 200 MW plant is proposed for Tomakomai.[23]

Another recent project starting in 2017 will include a floating solar farm on the Yamakura Dam. This project will provide enough power for 5,000 households in Japan. It is said to be completed in 2018 and will be located on a reservoir in Japan's Chiba prefecture. [24]

It is expected that many new projects will be constructed, to take advantage of the new feed-in tariff.

Photovoltaics installed capacity and generation[edit]

Installed PV capacity (in MW)
Year
End
Total
Capacity
Yearly
Installation
1992 19.0 n/a
1993 24.3 5.3
1994 31.2 6.9
1995 43.4 12.2
1996 59.6 16.2
1997 91.3 31.7
1998 133 41.7
1999 209 76
2000 330 121
2001 453 123
2002 637 184
2003 860 223
2004 1,132 272
2005 1,422 290
2006 1,709 287
2007 1,919 210
2008 2,144 225
2009 2,627 483
2010 3,618 991
2011 4,914 1,296
2012 6,632 1,718
2013 13,599 6,967
2014 23,339 9,740
2015 34,150 10,811
2016[4] 42,750 8,600
2017[25] 49,750 7,000
Source: EPIA and IEA-PVPS. All nominal capacity figures are reconverted from WAC to Wp.[26][27]
2,500
5,000
7,500
10,000
12,500
15,000
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
2016
Yearly Installation – Annually installed PV capacity in megawatts since 1992
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
50,000
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
2016
Total Capacity – Cumulative installed PV capacity in megawatts since 1992
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1,000
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
Module prices of residential solar pv in Japan 1992-2015 (JPY/W) Source: iea-pvps.org
Share of national electricity demand 2010-2016
Year Generation
(% of consumption)
2010[28] 0.3%
2011[29] 0.5%
2012[30] 0.7%
2013[31] 1.4%
2014[32] 2.4%
2015[33] 3.5%
2016[4] 4.9%
2017[34] 5.9%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cumulative Installed Solar Photovoltaics Capacity in Leading Countries and the World, 2000-2013". Earth Policy Institute. June 18, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-03. 
  2. ^ "Solar Energy in Japan - Summary". GENI. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Chisaki Watanabe (August 26, 2011). "Japan Spurs Solar, Wind Energy With Subsidies, in Shift From Nuclear Power". Bloomberg. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Markets 2017" (PDF). report. International Energy Agency. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  5. ^ "Hydropower in Japan". World Energy Council. 
  6. ^ "Solar in Japan". World Energy Council. 
  7. ^ Japan renews focus on solar power
  8. ^ Soto, Shigeru (2010-02-09). "Japan's Solar Panel Sales Rise to Record on Subsidy (Update1)". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  9. ^ Japan Approves Feed-in Tariffs
  10. ^ Japan’s High-Cost Renewable Energy Curbs Subsidy Impact
  11. ^ Chisaki Watanabe (March 2014). "Japan Cuts Subsidy for Solar Power, Boosts Offshore Wind". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ a b "Japan to slash feed-in-tariffs for solar plants this year". AsianPower. Retrieved 25 March 2018. 
  14. ^ Yamamoto, Masamichi; Ikki, Osamu (2010-05-28). "National survey report of PV Power Applications in Japan 2009" (PDF). International Energy Agency. Retrieved 2017-04-02. 
  15. ^ "Photovoltaic (Solar Electric)". Retrieved 24 March 2018. 
  16. ^ Kriscenski, Ali. "SOLAR ARK: World's Most Stunning Solar Building". inhabitat. Retrieved 19 April 2018. 
  17. ^ UN cites solar potential as Japan scraps nuclear plan
  18. ^ Solar Power Plant Facility Overview
  19. ^ Mega solar power plants may be excessively concentrated in Hokkaido.
  20. ^ Now Toshiba says they’re building Japan’s ‘largest’ solar plant in Fukushima
  21. ^ Utility-scale solar plant for Fukushima
  22. ^ One of Japan's Largest Mega Solar Projects to be Built in Aichi
  23. ^ Japan to see a solar power boom
  24. ^ Vaughan, Adam. "Japan begins work on 'world's largest' floating solar farm". The Guardian. Retrieved January 27, 2016. 
  25. ^ Pv-magazine FEBRUARY 15, 2018. "Japan will likely install 6 GW to 7.5 GW (DC) of solar in 2018, from about 7 GW in 2017..."
  26. ^ "National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Japan - 2012 - Third Version". International Energy Agency. 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  27. ^ "Global 2013 solar installs hit 37GW: EPIA". PV-Tech. 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  28. ^ Masamichi Yamamoto & Osamu Ikki (2011-07-15). "National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Japan - 2010". International Energy Agency. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  29. ^ Hiroyuki Yamada & Osamu Ikki (2012-05-31). "National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Japan - 2011". International Energy Agency. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  30. ^ Hiroyuki Yamada & Osamu Ikki (2014-08-27). "National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Japan - 2013". International Energy Agency. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  31. ^ Hiroyuki Yamada & Osamu Ikki (2014-08-27). "National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Japan - 2013". International Energy Agency. Retrieved 2014-09-03. 
  32. ^ Hiroyuki Yamada & Osamu Ikki (2015-07-10). "National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Japan - 2014". International Energy Agency. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  33. ^ "iea-pvps.org - National Reports". www.iea-pvps.org. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  34. ^ "2018, Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Markets". 

External links[edit]