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Gov't Officials Discuss Future Solar Policies

2016/10/24 16:53
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Toshimitsu Fujiki, director-general of the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Department of METI
Masuo Kuremura, assistant manager of the department

Toshimitsu Fujiki and Masuo Kuremura, director-general and assistant manager, respectively, of the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Department of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), explained trends in policies on solar power generation at Photovoltaic Power Generation Symposium, which JPEA (Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association) had Oct 20, 2016.

"Solar power generation will grow as an important power source for Japan," Fujiki said. "Change of energy means that a society and industry are changing, and we want to create a prosperous future through the change."

As measures to further promote solar power generation, he cited four policy measures: (1) appropriate application of feed-in tariff (FIT) policy, (2) efforts to solve grid-related problems, (3) regulatory and institutional reforms and (4) competitiveness enhancement and cost reduction in related industries.

Following that, Kuremura showed a specific schedule for the enforcement of the revised FIT policy. In regard to facility certification, METI will announce guidelines for the new certification system, the system design, etc by December 2016 and have meetings to explain the new certification system across Japan from January to March 2017.

The revised FIT policy will become effective in April 2017, and the certification of solar power plants that have not started operations and have not met some conditions (e.g. conclusion of a grid connection contract) will be canceled. And project plans based on the new certification system will be submitted by September 2017.