Thursday, June 21, 2012

Japan solar creating $9.6 billion market?

With a 'very attractive' solar power tariff, Japan is poised to quickly overtake Germany and Italy to become the world's second-biggest market for solar power as incentives starting July 1 drive sales for equipment makers from Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co. to Kyocera Corp.

Solar electricity rate is about three times the rate of conventional power. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast, that may spur at least $9.6 billion in new installations with 3.2 GW of capacity.


While solar industry is suffering incentive cuts across Europe, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is making effort to cut dependence on atomic energy and as a result solar industry will benefit. Currently nuclear energy provides about 30% of Japan’s power requirement.

The high solar tariff rate is not without opposition though. Business lobbyists questioned the effectiveness of such a scheme whereby the high cost of electricity is shouldered by users.

Japan Power Tariff

Power utilities will pay ¥42 (US 53 cents) per kWh for 20 years to solar power producers, almost twice the rate in Germany, the world’s biggest market by installations. The ¥42 solar rate, targeted for 10-kW or bigger plants, is above the ¥38 price for 15 years the industry earlier expected.

Malaysia's rate is RM1.75 max. (US 55 cents), subject to usage of local products, installation size, and building-integration of installation. This is still higher than Japan and Germany.

In Germany, after the proposed subsidy cuts, it is planning to offer €0.135 to €0.195 (17 to 24.6 U.S. cents) per kWh, depending on size. Italy’s rate is €0.128 to €0.237. Analyst estimates that residential solar systems are being sold in Japan for $6.28/Watt, more than double the $2.70/Watt price in Germany.

Installed capacity

Last year, Japan ranked 6th worldwide by new installation when it added 1.3GW of solar to bring its installed capacity to 5GW. It is expected  nearly triple that amount, or 3.2GW to 4.7GW. Wist this huge investment, Japan will come second only to China and its solar capacity growth will surpass those of Italy and Germany.

1 GW is sufficient to supply about 243,000 homes in Japan.

In 2011, Japan got about 1.6% of its energy from renewables making it the smallest percentage among G-7 countries after Canada. Japan has got a lot of catching up to do, but with such an attractive solar tariff, it will be able to do that in a short span of time.

Green surcharge to consumers

As what is being practiced in other countries, Japanese consumers will help to fund the program by paying surcharges in their monthly electricity bills. The average surcharges is about ¥87 per household per month, lower than the earlier estimate of ¥100.

In Malaysia, only consumers with monthly energy usage of 350kWh and above are being levied with 1% of the total electricity bills, to fund the Feed-in Tariff program.

TheGreenMechanics' two cents:

We once had this 'Look East Policy' which refers to learning lesson from the industry standard of Japan. Let's see if we can benchmark our Renewable Energy Policy with what Japan is implementing. Our FIT model was largely drawn in comparison to Germany's subsidy model, and Germany is currently facing difficulty in sustaining such a highly subsidised renewable energy, particularly solar power.

Copyright 2012 Bloomberg - via Renewable Energy World.


tehr said...

memang bagus
jepun dah serik dengan nuklear ke?

de engineur said...

@tehr. Sejak peristiwa Fukushima hari tu Jepun telah melipat-gandakan usaha membangunkan sumber kuasa boleh diperbaharuinya - especially Solar & wind

cara membesarkan said...

postingannya bagus