As it continues to find ways to minimize dependency in nuclear energy, Japan will add over 5 gigawatts of solar power (photovoltaic) capacity this year, which could effectively surpass Germany and the United States, said a recently released report, entitled ‘The P.V. Market in Japan’, by IMS Research. The report forecasts that the photovoltaic market will probably cause an upsurge of about 120% in 2013 thanks to its feed-in tariff (FIT) for any solar endeavors.
The FIT for solar sees payment of up to 42 yen per kilowatt-hour; this is twice the rate currently being given in Germany and over thrice that of China’s. Ash Sharma, senior director of solar research at IHS, said, “At 42 yen Japan’s FIT is by far the most attractive globally—overly generous perhaps, which could lead to overheating of the market.” Solar installations in Japan will already exceed 1 gigawatt as early as the first quarter, which will make it this year’s second largest market in the world. The target that the government has set is to have 28 gigawatts of solar generating capacity by the year 2020 and 53 by the year 2030.
In the same way, a wind energy increase is also predicted for Japan this year; with its plans to construct a 1 gigawatt farm somewhere near the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, it is set to be the largest in the world. In a different report by Frost and Sullivan, the country’s wind industry is expected to help the global market recuperate from last year’s slow down. Just like with solar, the Japanese government also offers a generous incentive scheme for wind—23.1 yen per kilowatt-hour, which is double the rate in Germany.