Japan’s renewable capacity to double in next decade says report

Japan’s renewable installed capacity is predicted to more than double in the next decade according to a new report.

The study from research firm GlobalData forecasts that Japan’s cumulative installed capacity will rise from last year’s 317.5 GW to around 389.8 GW by 2025.

It adds that while thermal generation will contribute the majority of installed capacity, with an expected overall share of 54.7 per cent, renewable sources will increase from 37.8 GW this year to 83.3 GW.

GlobalData’s senior power analyst Chiradeep Chatterjee said: “Despite the new Japanese government’s rethink on the decision to phase out nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster, there is still a focus on promoting renewable power, not only to reduce reliance on the nuclear sector but also to tackle the huge cost of importing natural gas and oil.

“A new feed-in tariff system introduced in July 2012 will drive renewable installed capacity growth, as utility companies must purchase power from renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, small hydro, geothermal and biomass, at pre-set premiums for up to 20 years.”

Chatterjee added that as a consequence, higher rates for renewable power are being passed on in the form of inflated power bills, which adds extra burden to the consumer.

By contrast, the report states that thermal power will continue to be a major contributor to Japan’s power mix, with installed thermal capacity forecast to reach 213 GW by 2025.

Chatterjee said that “while gas will be the dominant thermal source, contributing 36 per cent of thermal capacity by 2025, coal is expected to witness the highest capacity growth after 2020, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 4 per cent between 2021 and 2025”.

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