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FIT Tariff for Non-residential Solar Plants to Be Lowered in FY 2018

Category of less-than-20kW wind power plants to be eliminated

2018/02/08 23:41
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Institute
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In the next fiscal year, the FIT tariff for less-than-2MW non-residential solar power plants will be 18 yen/kWh. And the second bidding will take place for 2MW and higher-output solar power plants.

A meeting of the Calculation Committee for Procurement Price, Etc for the feed-in tariff (FIT) policy took place Feb 7, 2018, and the chairperson's proposals on the purchasing prices (FIT tariffs) for fiscal 2018 were announced.

According to the proposals, the FIT tariff for non-residential (10kW and higher-output) solar power plants is ¥18/kWh (excluding tax), which is ¥3 lower than in fiscal 2017 (¥21/kWh).

Solar power plants with an output of 2MW or higher were shifted to the bidding system in fiscal 2017. So, a tariff of ¥18/kWh will be applied to 10kW-2MW solar power plants that are certified in and after April 2018 for 20 years.

The tariff was reduced by ¥3 because the cost and facility utilization rate, based on which tariffs are calculated, were changed. The expected system cost was decreased from ¥244,000/kW in fiscal 2017 to ¥221,000/kW in fiscal 2018. The expected facility utilization rate was increased from 15.1% in fiscal 2017 to 17.1% in fiscal 2018. This is because the highest 25% of facility utilization rates were applied while the rate of "overloading" is increasing.

In regard to residential (less-than-10kW) solar power plants, the FIT tariffs for fiscal 2017 to 2019 were set in 2017. In regions where output control equipment is not required to be installed, the FIT tariffs for fiscal 2018 and 2019 are ¥26/kWh and ¥24/kWh, respectively. In regions where the installation of output control equipment is required, the FIT tariffs for fiscal 2018 and 2019 are ¥28/kWh and ¥26/kWh.

In fiscal 2017, the FIT tariff for residential solar power plants is ¥28/kWh in regions where output control equipment is not required to be installed and ¥30/kWh in regions where the installation of output control equipment is required. So, they will be reduced by ¥2 per year until fiscal 2019.

As for residential solar power plants, in fiscal 2017, the Calculation Committee for Procurement Price, Etc discussed whether the FIT tariff for fiscal 2020 should be decided. As a result, it concluded that the FIT tariff for fiscal 2020 should not be decided in meetings in fiscal 2017 while paying attention to the future cost reduction and that it should be decided at an appropriate time in the future.