Japan: Solar reaches 10% of peak summer power

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Sunny skies and favorable conditions throughout the summer has boosted the total share of solar in the country’s overall energy mix.

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PV Magazine

Among Japan's major utilities, solar power at peak hours ranged from 5.9% at to as high as 24.6%. Takobou/wikimedia commons Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/japan--solar-reaches-10-of-peak-summer-power_100020920/#ixzz3kjXuccZk
Among Japan’s major utilities, solar power at peak hours ranged from 5.9% at to as high as 24.6%.
Takobou/wikimedia commons

Solar power generation made up some 10% of the peak summer electricity supplies of Japan’s nine major utilities, the Ashai newspaper reported on Thursday.

While solar power contributes only about 2% of annual power generation in the country, sunny skies throughout the summer increased power output, generating a total of some 15 GW of power in early August.

Japan has invested billions of dollars in renewable energy since 2012, when it introduced a feed-in tariff (FIT) program in an effort to reduce its reliance on nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima catastrophe.

According to the Asahi report, the ratio of solar power at peak hours ranged from 5.9% at the Hokuriku Electric Power utility to as high as 24.6% at Kyushu Electric Power.



Installed solar capacity benefitting from the country’s FIT scheme reached more than 24 GW at the end of April, according to government data, up from about 5 GW before the program was launched.

Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/japan–solar-reaches-10-of-peak-summer-power_100020920/#ixzz3kjWmuLyn

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6 Comments
  1. Calamity_Jean 4 years ago

    That’s good news. Now that Japan is restarting some of its reactors, I hope the installation of PV increases.

  2. patb2009 4 years ago

    The Japanese need to push these as critical investments and figure out how to install small home battery units and other methods of smoothing.

  3. Rockne O'Bannon 4 years ago

    Please note: EARLY August.
    Reporting from Japan here. It has been weird weather this year. Hot sunny and dry from June through about the first 10 days of August, and not much sunshine since.

    This 10% number will get higher in the future, but between typhoons and the rainy season, it says more about the weather than about capacity numbers.

    PV installation appear to have fallen off slightly. Japan has restarted one reactor. one.

    Home battery units have been advertised for about 5 years now, and they are nowhere nearly cost effective yet. Please do keep in mind that all Tesla batteries are made in Japan, so if they could be made cost effectively, they would be. Tesla’s little device is being sold below cost, if it is being sold at all.

    Japan has some of the world’s largest utility scale battery storage, however. One huge facility is within a few km of where I live.

    • Starviking 4 years ago

      Yes, a much, much cooler and cloudier summer than average.

  4. Rockne O'Bannon 4 years ago

    “Japan has invested billions of dollars in renewable energy since 2012, when it introduced a feed-in tariff (FIT) program in an effort to reduce its reliance on nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima catastrophe.”

    This phrasing always gets me. It is misleading.
    1. Actually, Japan has not invested much at all. Japanese people have. Private citizens. Some companies. Utilities too. “Japan” has not done jack squat. As far as I know, the government does not own a single renewable generating facility of any kind.
    2. Japan introduced A FiT program in 2012, but most utilities had FiT programs before that. The FiT programs were not instituted in an effort to reduce reliance on nuclear power at all. All nukes had been turned off by the time the 2012 FiT was instituted. The first FiTs were introduced to reduce CO2 emissions. Has everyone forgotten the Kyoto Protocol? Yeah. Japan was serious about renewables way before Fukushima.

    Aww. Who cares, right? Well, it makes a difference. If we are going to be children and assume that someone makes policy in a vacuum because some environmental group tells them so, then simplifying it is fine. But in the real world, policy is made by people are not motivated by a knee-jerk to Fukushima. Policy is made by utilities, governments, and private citizens. The same companies that owned and operated nuclear plants ALSO started FiT programs on their own. Imagine that.

  5. Starviking 4 years ago

    This does not make any sense:

    sunny skies throughout the summer increased power output, generating a total of some 15 GW of power in early August.

    It’s like replying to the question: “How long was your journey” with “80 miles per hour”.

    Power is energy delivered per unit time. So, if you want to know how well a power source is providing power over a length of time – you look at the energy delivered over that time. That’s why electricity bills in Japan bill by kilowatt hours.

    It would not surprise me if these statistics were just looking for points when the peak power was delivered.

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