Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Japan toughens rules for Renewable Energy incentive payments

Just 2 years after introducing Renewable Energy incentive program, Japan is now setting stricter rules for production and sales of energy generated from renewable sources.

Reason: To speed up development of projects and ensure stable power supply.

Windmills on the tip of the Nemuro Peninsula in eastern Hokkaido. Image from The Japan Times

The new renewable rules

As in many other renewable energy projects around the world, similar projects here haven’t started even years after winning approval.

  • The new rules allow utilities to strip a renewable energy provider of grid access if they miss the start date.
  • The same can happen if they fail to pay for access within a month of signing a contract.
  • The rule allows utilities to reduce or stop intake of renewable energy (wind and solar power) for up to 30 days a year without compensating the suppliers.  Applicable for when supply exceeds demand, this is for producers with capacity of 500 kW and above.

In essence 

Under new rules, it will apply to solar and wind projects of any size — including residential rooftops — according to a separate ministry document. In addition, the maximum period for no compensation will be calculated by hour not daily to better reflect demand and supply.

The measures come after at least five of the country’s utilities began restricting the access of new solar farms to their grids earlier this year and examined how much more clean energy their grids can add.

Grid capacity in Japan is tight and it is said that renewable energy providers will only receive grid access from a utility when they agree not to be compensated for reducing output.

The Green Mechanics: 
It seem that Japan (not only us) is also not bothered to upgrade their grid either. But some say it's more than that; a reader blamed some corrupt interested parties trying to ward off RE emergence:

"This is the corrupt Japanese electricity industry fighting against solar, duh. This is the same industry that has split Japan into two incompatible grids that creates massive overbuilding and interconnect. Nationalize the electricity industry, reorganize it into municipal control of the distribution substations and grids, and let the greater grid ISO, run a fair and open gov regulated market. The distributions substation entities then buy and sell electricity on the great grid market." - B. Donovan, REW Magazine 

Well, in order to have a better idea of what's happening there, one has to examine closer the situation in Japan. We can't read an article from one part of the globe and draw conclusion/comment/opinion.

- Source: Bloomberg via Renewable Energy World 

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