Japan: Grid capacity may limit solar growth


In Japan’s booming solar market, "grid congestion" is emerging as a potential break to the continuing market growth. A shortage of grid capacity in the country’s north, on the island of Hokkaido, is already well known, and now new BNEF analysis is showing that similar issues could potentially emerge in the south of the country.

With 22.4 GW of new renewable energy capacity having been approved, under the FIT program that kicked off in July 2012, BNEF analysis shows that the Chugoku Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. have less than 1 GW of available grid capacity in southern Japan.

BNEF figures estimates grid capacity of 34 GW as being available for new solar and wind projects throughout the country.

Reforms of Japan’s electricity market are underway at present, with Bloomberg reporting that a bill is expected to be introduced into Japan’s parliament in autumn. BNEF predicts that such deregulation could lead to grid improvements.

Japan’s utility market remains relatively closed, with regional monopolies a feature. There has been pressure on these monopolies in the wake of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in March, 2011. Telecommunications entrepreneur Masayoshi Son, the billionaire Chairman and CEO of Softbank Corp., has been active in pushing for increased electricity market reregulation. Softbank is already active in developing photovoltaic projects in Japan.

Popular content

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: editors@pv-magazine.com.


Related content

Elsewhere on pv magazine...

Leave a Reply

Please be mindful of our community standards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.