A government advisory panel in Japan has signed off on a series of proposals on Friday that will culminate in a new feed-in tariff scheme starting in April 2012.
According to a published report, the panel is expected to submit bills related to the new incentive program for renewables during the current parliamentary session.
Currently, Japan's 10 power companies are required to pay 48 yen (€.42) per kilowatt hour for surplus solar electricity from house owners and 24 yen (€.21) per kWh for the surplus from small businesses and are allowed to add on the extra costs to users evenly.
Under an earlier scheme going into effect this April, Japan’s power companies are only required to buy surplus solar power from small-lot suppliers, while rates on small businesses will be raised to 40 yen (€.35) per kWh to lessen the impact of the government's ending subsidies for installation.
Beginning in 2012 and continuing at least through the next 15 years, Japan’s 10 major utilities and its independent power producers will buy electricity from renewable sources.
The new scheme will apply to electricity from solar, wind, biomass, small-scale hydro and geothermal power -- except for surplus electricity only from household solar suppliers.
Pending parliamentary action, rates for wind, small-sized hydro, biomass, geothermal will be set at either 15 (€.13) yen or 20 (€.17) yen per kwh.
The prospective price for solar power has yet to be determined.