Japan gives final approval for 11% FIT cut


After months of speculation and discussion, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has today finally confirmed that, as of April 1, the country's solar FIT will be reduced by 11% from JPY 36 to JPY 32 (US$0.31 cents) per kWh.

For smaller PV systems of no more than 10 kW, the reduction is slightly smaller, at just 2.6% to JPY 37 kWh.

Following the introduction of the rather generous FIT scheme in 2011, Japan's solar industry has boomed – thanks in part to the incentives available.

However, following an investigation last year by METI into hundreds of projects that were given approval by METI but had yet to commence construction – possibly with developers delaying projects with one eye on awaiting even more generous FIT rates – Japan's government decided to take action.

METI will set a new deadline for solar developers to secure land and equipment no longer than six months after receiving project approval, confirmed the METI official in charge of clean energy projects, Keisuke Murakami, at a press conference held earlier today. This rule change is likely to be introduced next month following public consultation.

While solar has suffered, offshore wind projects have been given a boost by the government, with the FIT rising from JPY 22 last year to JPY 36 from April 1 for all wind projects of 20 kWh or more.

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