Japan's METI to roll out energy efficiency and storage subsidy

The Japanese government is continuing its push into clean technologies, with the latest a program to incentivize the roll out of energy efficiency and storage technologies. The program will be aimed at the commercial sector, targeting factories and small businesses.

BNEF reported the subsidy program today, saying that METI has requested 18 billion yen ($779 million) for the program, as a part of the supplementary budget. LED lighting, efficient boiler technology and distributed energy storage will be targeted under the proposed program.

In terms of storage, METI is looking to provide incentives for energy storage systems at PV power plants and grid substations. The deployment of the battery systems will aim at strengthening electricity grids to facilitate growing levels of renewable energy penetration.

BNEF notes that solar comprises the bulk of Japan’s renewable capacity since the FIT program was instigated in July 2012.

Japanese solar consultants RTS Corporation reported in December that some 17.5 GW of solar projects, with approval from METI under the FIT, could be threatened by limited grid capacity in a number of regional electricity grids. Japan’s utilities function essentially as regional monopolies with interconnectivity between the grids seen as being weak.