• Japan has reduced the FIT for commercial and industrial segment with system ranges of 10 kW to 500 kW with effect from April 1, 2019
  • From JPY 18 ($0.17) per kWh now, the FIT has been reduced by 22% to JPY 14 ($0.13) per kWh
  • Residential solar PV systems with capacities of less than 10 kW will be eligible for FITs in the range of JPY 24 to JPY 26 ($0.22 to $0.26) per kWh

Japan has reduced feed-in-tariff (FIT) for the commercial and industrial (C&I) segment by 22% starting from April 1, 2019. The country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) decision makes it the 7th consecutive year when Japan has reduced its FIT rate, according to EnergyTrend.

On March 22, 2019, METI came out with a revised FIT rate list. For PV systems ranging between 10 kW to 500 kW in fiscal year 2019, the rate has been brought down to JPY 14 ($0.13) per kWh, exclusive of tax. Till March 31, 2019, it will be JPY 18 ($0.17) per kWh. Global market intelligence and consulting firm Enerdata had expected these changes to kick in in January 2019 (see Japan Slashes FIT For Small-Scale Solar).

Residential PV systems that are smaller than 10 kW will continue to claim FITs between JPY 24 to JPY 26 ($0.22 to $0.26) per kWh. The FIT for businesses with 500 kW or more will be determined by bidding, said METI.

Utilities are required to buy power from renewable energy firms for the above rates and pass the purchasing cost to power customers, said EnergyTrend.

The Ministry announced that power prices in Japan will slightly increase to JPY 2.95 ($0.027) per kWh.

It is not just solar PV that has come under the cut, METI has also announced a downward revision of FITs for onshore wind power. FIT levels for renewable energies such as offshore wind, geothermal and biomass power sources remain unchanged.

Private research firm Teikoku Databank in February 2019 shared that 95 solar power companies went bankrupt in Japan in 2018 alone with JPY 24 billion ($218 million) liabilities, due to the gradual reduction in FITs (see Japanese Solar Firms Bleeding From Reduced FIT).