Japan May Announce Preferential Rates for Clean Energy in April

Japan may announce preferential price rates this month for electricity generated from renewable energy in a program that will start in July to encourage investment in non-fossil fuel power plants.

A five-person panel have been discussing the preferential rates, known as feed-in tariffs, since March 6 and will hold their sixth meeting on April 25.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry hopes to receive the recommended rates by April 27, which will then need government approval, Keisuke Murakami, who heads clean energy programs at the ministry, said today.

The feed-in tariff guarantees above-market rates for solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydroelectric power. The Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association proposed 42 yen (52 cents) a kilowatt-hour for 20 years for solar power. For wind, the Japan Wind Power Association suggested as much as 25 yen a kilowatt- hour for the same period.

Murakami said no decision had been made about rates for solar power in response to a Nikkei newspaper report today that said the rate will be 42 yen a kilowatt-hour for about 20 years. The newspaper didn’t state the source of its information.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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