Despite COVID-19 related disruption to the global PV industry including Japan, the country managed to grow its annual PV installations by 17% to 8.2 GW DC in 2020, according to RTS Corporation.
- RTS Corporation estimates Japan’s 2020 total solar installed PV capacity to have reached 8.2 GW DC, growing 17% on annual basis
- Japan is currently in the process of overhauling its energy targets and perspectives as it trains lens on achieving carbon neutral target by 2050
- Japanese businesses are likely to take the lead in renewable energy expansion as they increasingly opt for PPA or self-consumption models to source clean energy to meet their climate and cost ambitions
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During the year 2020, thanks to ‘steady progress’ of project construction that ‘have not started operation’ Japan was able to grow its annual solar PV installations by 17% annually to 8.2 GW DC/6.3 GW AC, according to leading Japanese solar consultancy RTS Corporation’s estimates.
This means the country’s cumulative installed solar PV capacity grew to 71.7 GW DC at the end of last year. In 2019, the country had added 7 GW DC/5.5 GW AC solar power capacity.
As of August 31, 2020, RTS says the government had approved feed-in-tariffs (FIT) for 430,000 projects with a capacity of 20 kW or more, RTS Corporation stated in its January 2021 newsletter. One major highlight of the year 2020 it mentions was that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) started preparing Japan’s 6th Strategic Energy Plan and formulated Green Growth Strategy aiming to establish a renewable energy oriented economic society.
At the same time, a new industry organization by renewable energy power producers was born calling itself Renewable Energy Association for Sustainable Power Supply (REASP).
As Japan aims to go carbon neutral by 2050, RTS Corporation expects things to look up for the solar PV market of the country as it gets ready for the ‘next reform’ of the FIT program even as self-consumption and power purchase agreement (PPA) model finds an increasing number of takers (see Japan Pledges Carbon Neutral Target By 2050).
“An almighty PV will be further sought for by various users to satisfy both locally-utilized distributed power source. and large-scale competitive power source in the background of the formulation of the next Strategic Energy Plan and various subsidy projects for economic recovery, promotion of next generation technology development based on the growth strategy, etc.,” said RTS Corporation in its latest newsletter.
The private sector of Japan is putting its weight behind the country adopting a higher renewable energy target as it chases the carbon neutral aim. A total of 92 companies with some heavy duty names recently wrote to the government to push up country’s 2030 renewable energy target to 40% to 50%, up from current 22% to 24% (see Japanese Businesses Push For Higher 2030 RE Target). In all probability it should increase since the RTS Corporation points out country’s Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi announced a plan last year to increase 2030 renewable energy share to the total energy mix to 40% or more.
Earlier in March 2019, RTS Corporation had suggested action plans for over 150 GW solar PV deployment in Japan by 2030, as against a national determined target of 64 GW (see 150 GW Solar PV By 2030 Possible For Japan).