• Japan has announced a JPY 108 trillion economic stimulus package to help its economy impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Corporate renewable energy PPAs under commitment to RE100, will be covered under the same
  • RE100 says almost $1 billion has been set aside to support corporate PPAs covering part of upfront installation costs

The Japanese government has included renewable energy in its JPY 108 trillion ($1 trillion) economic stimulus package to cushion the country’s economy as the world stares at a deep recession in the near future due to the mayhem caused by COVID-19 pandemic across the globe.

While a Reuters poll showed several companies unhappy with the stimulus plan calling it insufficient and too late, renewable energy companies in Japan should have a reason to smile in these horrid times. A single line in the official document released by the Japanese cabinet, available in Japanese language, says economic support will be available for development of onsite renewables to support corporate power purchase agreements (PPA) under their commitment to the RE100 initiative.

Aleksandra Klassen, Senior Impact Manager of RE100 at The Climate Group, shared on her LinkedIn post that the measure has been included under the Development of Resilient Economic Structures section and is almost $1 billion to support corporate PPAs to facilitate the development of onsite renewables. It will cover part of the upfront installation costs. “A steady increase of RE100 companies in Japan has been cited as a reason for introducing this policy,” she wrote.

Japan will be shelling out the financial support in 2 phases namely, an emergency support phase focused at saving livelihoods, business and lives, and a V-shaped recovery phase to boost the economy.

This should be a heartening message for renewables and especially solar industry in other markets as extended lockdowns and social distancing norms have started to severely impact development, construction, commissioning schedules of PV projects in several parts of the world. They’d be hoping other governments would take a cue from Japan and include renewables in their stimulus packages to help the industry tide through the choppy waters currently. Lobby associations in leading solar markets – SEIA in the US or SolarPower Europe in Europe – have been asking their administrations to include solar in stimulus packages. However, America’s federal government under President Donald Trump has not included solar in its $2 trillion stimulus package for COVID-19 impacted businesses and industries, for one.