More on Japan’s New Ruling Party (DPJ) and Feed-in Tariffs

By Paul Gipe


Bloomberg is reporting that Japan’s new ruling party, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), is expected to propose a comprehensive feed-in tariff policy as part of its legislative agenda.

Though there’s a lot of handwringing about the landslide election from those industries allied with the ousted party, solar manufacturers Kyocera and Sharp are expected to be big winners, says Bloomberg.

Previous news accounts have reported that the DPJ will propose a feed-in tariff policy to stimulate the stalled development of solar PV. However, what had not been known was that the new government would propose a system of “gross” feed-in tariffs or what the rest of the world knows as true feed-in tariffs.

The previous government had planned to introduce a “net” feed-in tariff program for solar PV in November. In a “net” feed-in tariff, generators are only paid for the “excess” generation they deliver to the grid above their own consumption. Under such programs, solar PV still needs substantial state subsidies to be financially attractive. This kind of policy has been used with little success in Australia.

The DPJ’s manifesto, says Bloomberg, calls for a true or “gross” feed-in tariff that pays for all generation not just the excess generation. Further, according to Bloomberg, the DPJ will extend the feed-in tariff program to include other renewables, such as wind energy.