Japan May Pull More Approvals for Solar Projects Behind Schedule

Japan’s government is investigating whether solar power projects approved in fiscal 2013 are moving ahead as planned, signaling some of them may be canceled.

In a previous investigation of projects approved in fiscal 2012, at least 165 were canceled or abandoned with some of them failing to secure land and equipment, Nobuhiro Watanabe, an official in charge of promoting clean energy at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said today.

As of the end of March this year, Japan had approved 65,726 megawatts of solar projects since July 2012. Of that, only 13 percent, or 8,715 megawatts, is operating, ministry data show.

The ministry plans hearings for 22 projects and about another 330 have until the end of August to report on their status, he said, in reference to fiscal 2012 approvals.

The ministry put in place a six-month deadline for solar projects to secure land and equipment for approvals beginning April 1.

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