Japanese solar light years ahead

Japan could surpass its 2030 solar PV target of 64GW a decade ahead of schedule, according to a new report by RTS Corp.

Japan’s combined PV capacity stood at approximately 41.6GW at the end of 2016, however, the Tokyo-based consultancy said there was a “high possibility” the country would hit the 64GW mark in early 2020, PV Magazine reported.

“It is necessary to set a new target greatly exceeding the current installation target for 2030,” RTS said, suggesting the Japanese government may revise the solar target to as high as 150GW by 2030.

PV Magazine said a METI committee was expected to start discussing the country’s longer-term energy plans for the period through 2050 early in the new year. And while the ministry had yet to revise its long-term energy installation targets, it reportedly started discussing the formulation of its fifth short-term strategic energy plan in August.

In late November, METI held its first auctions for PV projects above 2MW in size, with eight companies winning the rights to build 141MW of solar across nine sites, out of 500MW of capacity available.

PV system prices continue to fall in Japan, according to PV Magazine, with RTS estimating the average price of residential solar systems at about JPY 200,000 (AUD$2,328) per kilowatt.