Japan aims to increase domestic renewable energy capacity by 13 per cent by March 2013 through a new price incentive programme for generators, the country's government said last week.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry expects to add 2,500MW of solar, geothermal, wind, biomass and hydropower capacity after the feed-in tariff scheme comes into force in July. Japan currently has 18,750MW of capacity.
The system will compel utilities to pay renewable energy producers for electricity they provide to the grid. It will see solar power suppliers be paid ¥42 per kwh electricity, around three times the rate industrial and commercial users pay, over the course of 20 years. But wind energy producers will only get around half that amount, which has upset the country's embryonic industry.
Japan generates only nine per cent of its electricity from renewable sources, but is looking to fill the gap left by a scaling back of its nuclear ambitions in the wake of the disaster at the Fukushima plant last year.