Dec 17, 2014 - Seven of all utilities in Japan can together accommodate only 58% of the solar power capacity to be added under the country’s feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme, government data showed on Tuesday.
This was revealed in a study carried out by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The planned capacity to be installed under the FiT programme is already greater than the network capacities of six of the seven utilities in the country.
According to METI, solar power suppliers have been cleared to provide 40.54 million kWh of electricity, while the seven utilities can only accept 23.69 million kWh.
During the past few months, grid constraints in Japan forced Shikoku Electric Power (TYO:9507), Okinawa Electric Power (TYO:9511), Tohoku Electric Power (TYO:9506) and other utilities to put grid connection applications on hold. Some of the companies have already taken or are evaluating measures, such as smart grids and energy storage units, which will allow them to keep adding renewable power capacity on the grid.
Under its FiT scheme, Japanese utilities are required to buy the generated electricity from solar, wind, geothermal and biomass facilities at fixed rates for a certain period of time.
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