Energy / Climate Change

January 27, 2012


Current Status of Geothermal Power in Japan (2011)

Keywords: Renewable Energy 

The last domestic installation of geothermal power for Japan was in 1999 on Hachijo Island, and the subsequent "lost decade" has seen no progress on the geothermal front. Numerous factors impede progress, including the time and expense necessary to survey the well site before installing a geothermal facility. Depending on scale, the serious capital investment required means that the lead time necessary to make a return on the investment is quite long. Other business obstacles include the difficulty of reaching an agreement with hot springs proprietors, or being unable to gain permission to begin new development within a designated natural park area containing abundant geothermal resources. An additional issue is that the majority of geothermal power generation is not recognized as renewable energy under the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Law.

In recent years, however, people are beginning to reconsider geothermal power generation, and it is garnering attention from the perspective of developing the domestic industry and for its significant potential as a resource.

Installed Geothermal Capacity in 2010, by Country
Country Installed Capacity
Policies, etc.
1 U.S. 3,086 Federal Government's Production Tax Credit (PTC)
2 Philippines 1,904
3 Indonesia 1,197
4 Mexico 958
5 Italy 843
6 Japan 536 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Law applies only to binary cycle power plants (very few applications)*

* Japan's act on renewable energy came into effect on August 26, 2011, and the FIT scheme in total capacity will start from July 2012.

JFS Article:


Back to Current Status of Renewable Energy in Japan
Go to Current Status of Geothermal Power in Japan (2010)

* Updated figures and other data are shown in italics.

This information is provided with a grant from Artists Project Earth.