8% Yield Is Possible at 21-yen FIT Tariff, Says Xsol President (2)

2016/10/08 10:28
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Continued from 8% Yield Is Possible at 21-yen FIT Tariff, Says Xsol President (1)

Power sale model of 11 yen/kWh is expected after end of FIT scheme

Q: The surplus power purchasing system that started in 2009 will end in 2019, and handling of solar power "after the end of the FIT scheme (end of purchasing period)" will begin to change, starting from the facilities installed on houses.

Suzuki: I think a power sale model setting the tariff at about ¥11/kWh will start after completion of the purchase period. The tariff will be set at around ¥11/kWh because a certain level of feasibility is essential for stable and long-term operation of solar power facilities.

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) started the "PV 100-year plan," aiming to establish solar power as a key power source. If power producers stop operation of the facilities one after another following the end of the FIT scheme, the goal will not be achieved. If the tariff is extremely low, the feasibility will be attained only by self-consumption. However, many mega (large-scale) solar plants do not have facilities that consume the power. Excess power generated by solar power generation facilities on rooftops of houses will also have to be sold.

The tariff of ¥11/kWh is a level that manages to maintain feasibility, considering the electricity rate charged to final consumers and adding the wheeling charge. If a system is established to sell the power for ¥11/kWh to general electric power transmission and distribution companies after separation, the shift after the end of the FIT scheme will be smooth.

It is likely that private companies including aggregators will start businesses to purchase the power at a price higher than ¥11/kWh. If the electricity rate remains at the current level, the feasibility of such businesses will be ensured even if the purchase price is set at ¥12 to 13/kWh.

Q: The government set the ratio of solar power at "64GW/7%" in the Best Mix (ideal power source ratios for 2030). How far do you think the ratio will actually increase?

Suzuki: If facilities with a total capacity of about 56GW remain effective after implementation of the revised FIT Act, a capacity of 20GW needs to be added to attain 64GW in 2030. If 4GW of facilities are introduced every year, the goal will be attained in five years. There are more than 10 years before 2030. And if the facilities increase at this pace, it is possible that 50GW or more capacity will be added, exceeding 110GW in total.

JPEA set the goal at 100GW from the start. Many people have the impression that "100GW" is excessively high because the figure was set at 64GW for Best Mix. However, it will not be very difficult to attain the figure if practical capacities that can be added in the years are accumulated.