Transitional measures for small-scale wind power plants

Also, according to the chairperson's proposals, changes were made to the prices and categories of wind and biomass power plants.

For 20kW and higher-output onshore wind power plants, the FIT tariffs for fiscal 2017 to 2019 have already been set, as in the case of residential solar power plants, and the tariff is ¥20/kWh in fiscal 2018 and ¥19/kWh in fiscal 2019. In the latest meeting of the Calculation Committee for Procurement Price, Etc, the tariff for fiscal 2020 was proposed to be ¥18/kWh, a decrease of ¥1.

In addition, the category of less-than-20kW wind power plants was eliminated and combined with the category of 20kW and higher-output plants. As a result, the FIT tariff of less-than-20kW wind power plants will be drastically decreased from ¥55/kWh in fiscal 2017 to ¥20/kWh.

In view of this, transitional measures will be taken. In the past, for obtaining certification in fiscal 2017, it was necessary to submit an application until January 12, 2018, but the deadline was extended.

According to the proposals of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the new deadline was the end of March 2017. However, based on proposals of committee members, it is expected to be the end of February 2017. At that time, it is necessary to submit all the necessary documents including documents related to the securement of land, etc, excluding a grid connection contract.

Offshore wind power plants that are fixed to the sea bed and must comply with the "rules for using general ocean areas" will be shifted to the bidding system. The rules are currently being made mainly by the Cabinet Office, which aims to enact them during the current Diet session.

In regard to biomass power plants, 10MW and higher-output projects in the category of "general wood, etc" will be the targets of the bidding system. This time, the category of "biomass liquid fuels" such as palm oil was separated from the category of "general wood, etc." And all the power plants in the category of "biomass liquid fuels" will be shifted to the bidding system.

All the committee members basically agreed to the chairperson's proposals announced Feb 2, 2018. So, it is expected that the proposed plans will be officially adopted in mid-March 2018 in consideration of usual years.