The first inter-regional renewable energy transfer in Japan, after the country introduced electricity reforms in 2015, points towards the growing flexibility of the grid here, says Reuters. Pictured is the cityscape of Kobe, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture on Japan's main island of Honshu. (Photo Credit: Tim Vickerman/www.goodfreephotos.com)
- Japan’s Kyushu Electric Power has successfully transferred 1.125 GW of renewable energy to five utilities on the island of Honshu
- The five utilities are Chubu Electric Power, Hokuriku Electric Power, Kansai Electric Power, Chugoku Electric Power and Shikoku Electric Power
- A Reuters report claims this transfer comprised excess solar power, and that it was the first time such a transfer was made possible ever since the country launched electricity reforms in 2015, post Fukushima disaster in 2011
- The transfer was approved by the country’s new grid monitor, Organization for Cross-regional Coordination of Transmission Operators (OCCTO)
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Japan has successfully transferred 1.125 GW of surplus renewable energy to the island of Honshu from the island of Kyushu amounting on October 1, 2018. This is the first time the country has been able to move power after it introduced reforms in 2015 post the 2011 Fukushima disaster, according to Reuters.
While the government has not specified which renewable energy source or what was the component of various renewables in this capacity transfer, Reuters says it was ‘excess solar power’. It does say this shows an increase in flexibility in the country’s previously regionalized electricity grid as the market opens up to competition.
The government set up a new grid monitor Organization for Cross-regional Coordination of Transmission Operators (OCCTO) in 2015 to monitor the electricity grid. This entity allowed Kyushu Electric Power Co., to transfer clean power to five utilities, namely Chubu Electric Power, Hokuriku Electric Power, Kansai Electric Power, Chugoku Electric Power and Shikoku Electric Power, as per information available on the website of OCCTO.
Referring to statistics by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), non-profit Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) estimates the share of renewable energy in Japan’s total power generation mix in 2017 reached 15.6%, with solar PV accounting for 5.7%.
In recent years, Japan was among the top three solar markets in the world after China and the United States, but has been replaced by India, which, according to consultancy Mercom India Research, even toppled the US as the second largest solar market in the first half of 2018 (see Top 3 Global PV Markets Added 33.9 GW In H1/2018).