- Japan’s Environment Ministry has proposed for the country to aim for 20 GW solar PV installations within FY2030
- It would take the country’s total installed solar power capacity to over 108 GW, according to its estimates
- Almost all of the proposed 20 GW will come from rooftop solar space, in both private and public sphere
Come 2030 and Japan could very well be contributing over 108 GW of solar power generation capacity to the global energy mix, if the government gives its stamp of approval to the Ministry of Environment’s proposal to expand the current 2030 target from 64 GW.
According to a report by the local newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun on the Environment Ministry’s draft submitted to an expert panel meeting on July 6, 2021, Japan is expected to reach 88 GW of solar power capacity by 2030 at the current pace of installations. The ministry wants to allocate 20 GW of annual solar capacity addition for FY2030 alone, to achieve the 108 GW number.
It expects this 20 GW to come from 6 GW capacity to be installed on 50% of government buildings, 10 GW from office buildings, parking lots, and the like, and remaining 4 GW from municipality owned land/decarbonization zones, among others. The thrust on rooftop solar is only natural for the nation of several islands scrambles to find enough suitable land for large scale solar power installations.
At the end of 2020, Japan’s aggregate solar power capacity grew to 71.7 GW DC, according to solar consultancy RTS Corporation, with the annual addition of 8.2 GW DC/6.3 GW AC capacity in 2020 (see Japan Installed 8 GW DC New Solar Capacity In 2020). This means the country has already exceeded its current cumulative solar target of 64 GW by 2030, a decade earlier. As Japan steps up its efforts to meet its carbon neutrality target for 2050, it only makes sense the share of renewables expands in its energy mix with a more competitive target (see Japan Pledges Carbon Neutral Target By 2050).
RTS Corporation, in March 2019, recommended action plans for 150 GW solar PV deployment in the country by 2030, with residential solar segment alone contributing 80 GW (see 150 GW Solar PV By 2030 Possible For Japan).
According to Bloomberg, the Japanese trade ministry sees the country needing as much as 370 GW of solar by 2050 to meet the carbon neutrality target which means ‘every house and apartment building built in and after 2040 will need to have a solar panel installed’.