Japan's PV Capacity Up by 5.7GW Since FIT Introduction

2014/01/14 16:41
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) publicized the status of the introduction of renewable energy-based power generation facilities as of the end of October 2013.

With a continuous, constant increase in the number of solar power generation facilities, the total power generation capacity of the renewable energy-based power generation facilities introduced after the implementation of the feed-in tariff (FIT) policy became 5.852GW, about 97% of which was accounted for by solar power generation facilities (5.666GW).

The total output capacities of the residential (less than 10kW) solar systems introduced in the period from July 2012 to March 2013 and in the period from April to October 2013 were 969,000kW and 870,000kW, respectively. Those of the non-residential (10kW or more) solar systems introduced in the same periods were 704,000kW and 3,123,000kW. This means that non-residential large-scale solar power plants had been rapidly introduced in 2013.

METI also publicized the status of the certification of FIT facilities as of the end of October 2013. The number of certified FIT solar facilities was 499,715 for residential facilities and 196,271 for non-residential facilities including 3,060 1MW and larger non-residential facilities. Among them, 402,600, 75,367 and 625 facilities, respectively, had started operations.

The total output capacity of the certified FIT solar facilities was 2,041,691kW for the residential facilities and 22,490,402kW for the non-residential facilities including 14,087,008kW of the 1MW and larger non-residential facilities. The total output capacities of the facilities that had started operations were 1,838,620kW, 3,826,632kW and 1,079,743kW, respectively. This indicates that the constructions of 1MW and larger mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plants were lagging and that less than 10% of certified such plants had started operations on an output capacity basis.

By region, the number of certified FIT facilities was the largest in Hokkaido (280), followed by Chiba Prefecture (204), Kagoshima Prefecture (202), Fukuoka Prefecture (174) and Ibaraki Prefecture (172), which are located in the Kanto and Kyushu areas. The number of facilities that had started operations was the largest in Fukuoka Prefecture (55), followed by Hokkaido (35), Ibaraki Prefecture (28), Shizuoka Prefecture (26), Chiba Prefecture (25), Hyogo Prefecture (25) and Okayama Prefecture (25).