Energy / Climate Change

March 13, 2013


Renewable Power, Particularly Solar Power, Generation Facilities Spreading Rapidly

Keywords: Government Renewable Energy 

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced the preliminary figures on renewable energy power facilities on November 16, 2012. During the seven months from April to October 2012, the number of renewable energy power facilities approved as targets by electricity purchasing schemes was 146,899, generating 2,557 megawatts (MW) (biomass electric power facilities using coal-mixed combustion are excluded from statistics). As compared to the end of the previous month, the number of renewable energy power facilities increased by 35% from 108,558, and the amount of the generated power increased by 44% from 1,778 MW.

Looking at the electricity output from the approved renewable sources by category, 86% was solar power, 13% was wind power, and a small amount was biomass and small-to medium-scale hydroelectric power (no geothermal power projects were approved). The output from solar power facilities that generate 10 kW or more (non-residential), including mega solar power facilities, accounted for 64% of the total renewable energy sources, and increased markedly by 57% from the previous month.

Practically, among the facilities approved under electricity purchasing schemes, 45 percent started operation with a capacity of 1,155 MW. This output (1,180 MW) is equal to half of the output of the Oi Nuclear Power Plant operated by Kansai Electric Power Co., which recently resumed operations.

As compared to the 310 MW of renewable power generated by the end of June, before the feed-in tariff scheme started, the total has increased by 3.7 times. This demonstrates a rapid increase during the last 4 months. Although a large quantity of the total approved power will not be sold by the end of fiscal 2012, the amount of generated power is estimated to increase to 2,500 MW during the same period.

Related JFS article:
Report on the Rapid Rise of Renewable Energy Generation Capacity in Japan
Japan's Feed-in-Tariff Scheme Kicks Off!