The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said last week that it hopes to increase its country’s renewable energy capacity by approximately 13 percent through the year ending March 2013. It intends to do so by introducing a price incentive program for generators this July.
The plan will see energy utilities pay above-normal rates to renewable energy producers, with solar producers being paid ¥42 per kilowatt hour electricity over 20 years, and wind energy producers approximately half that. The increased costs will be passed on to the customers who will end up paying a surcharge of as much as ¥0.4 (0.5 cents) per kilowatt hour, with an average household paying as much as ¥100 a month.
The estimates were issued at a meeting last week of a panel that will set the tariffs for solar, geothermal, wind, biomass, and hydropower. The five-member panel will be led by Kazuhiro Ueta, environmental economics professor at Kyoto University.
Understandably, representatives from the wind industry were upset at the meager offering offered their industry.