Japan Solar Installations to Peak This Year at 14.3GW, BNEF Says

Japan’s solar installations are expected to peak this year with between 13.2 gigawatts to 14.3 gigawatts of panels expected to be added, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a report.

The country’s solar market has been growing steadily thanks to the country’s incentive program for clean energy introduced in July 2012. Japan installed 7.1 gigawatts and 10.3 gigawatts in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The country also added as much as 12.3 gigawatts last year, according to estimates by BNEF.

“Because there have been challenges in grid connection, land acquisition, and securing financing for projects that could be subject to unlimited curtailment, the annual installed capacity will gradually decrease in 2017 and beyond,” BNEF said in the report released Thursday.

Next year’s installations will be between 9.8 gigawatts and 12.4 gigawatts, according to BNEF.

Japan will probably cut its tariff for solar power producers applicable beginning April 1 to 26 yen (23 cents) per kilowatt hour, 3.7 percent lower than the current rate of 27 yen amid falling capex costs for utility-scale projects, BNEF said.

A trade ministry task force is currently reviewing clean energy tariffs for next fiscal year. Rates for wind, biomass, geothermal and small hydro are expected to remain unchanged, according to the report.

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