Agricultural PV becomes Japan's following possibility

Jun 2, 2020 04:53 PM ET
  • Self-consumption, the capacity to isolate from the grid as well as supply power in case of blackouts, and also farming solar are crucial parts in the 2020 revisions to Japan's feed-in toll program, reports RTS Corp.'s Izumi Kaizuka.
Agricultural PV becomes Japan's following possibility
Image: Yuno-yuno/Wikimedia Commons

From April 2020, the very first month of the fiscal year in Japan, new rules went into effect for the feed-in toll (FIT) program. The vital adjustments are brand-new tolls as well as self-consumption requirements for PV systems ranging in size from 10 kW to 50 kW, in addition to a capacity decrease for projects that have to take part in tenders, from 500 kW or more down to 250 kW presently.

These changes show a new instructions for Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and also Sector (METI) and also represent an extreme alteration of the nation's FIT program. METI plans to implement a renewable resource support system on the basis of the characterization of the source of power.

PV installments will certainly be promoted by classifying renewable resource right into two sorts of power sources: affordable source of power and locally eaten power. Large PV power plants are currently placed as an affordable power source to be integrated right into the electrical energy market under the feed-in costs (FIP) program. The brand-new program is anticipated to start in financial 2021. At the same time, systems under 50 kW-- essentially small industrial PV systems and property ranges attached to the low-voltage network-- are categorized as in your area consumed source of power. This indicates that they are planned for self-consumption as well as area intake.

Systems in between 10 kW and 50 kW need to comply with 2 needs under the new scheme. Initially, systems should achieve at least a 30% self-consumption ratio. When task owners apply for FIT approvals, they need to submit prepare for self-consumption, as exported power quantities will certainly be kept track of during procedure. The second need relates to procedure during grid-blackout occasions, which suggests the capability to isolate or island in reaction to such events and also offer at least one exterior power socket for supply.

If ranges can please this feature, the tariff for 10 kW to 50 kW systems is one yen more than that for 50 kW to 250 kW system, as displayed in the table listed below. Strength of the power supply is a key problem, as Japan experiences widespread blackouts due to quakes-- mostly the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 as well as the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Quake in 2018-- in addition to major tornados such as Tropical storm No. 15 and also Typhoon No. 19 in 2019. The majority of locally created inverters have actually separated capability and also some Japanese firms are now promoting their items precisely because of this ability.

Agri-PV systems

In the case of agricultural PV-- systems varying from 10 kW to 50 kW in size-- self-consumption is not required since there is minimal demand for power on farms. Nevertheless, agri-PV systems need to satisfy the power outage procedure need as well as other guidelines established by Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry as well as Fisheries (MAFF).

In Japan, where available land for PV installments is limited, "solar sharing" is considered as an appealing PV application. According to MAFF, "solar sharing" describes when a PV range can operate on farmland while farming activities continue. It issued a regulation on so-called solar sharing in 2013, which cleared up the demands for the installment of PV on agricultural land. These regulations permit the momentary dual use of farmland if systems meet several criteria; namely, that the systems can be removed, which they are developed to enable optimum sunlight for the co-located crops. The mandatory reporting of collecting status is also called for yearly, and crop yield must be maintained more than 80% of the average yield before the PV system's setup. These guidelines have actually facilitated the development of solar sharing.

According to Takeshi Magami of Chiba Ecological Power Inc., a leading gamer in the agri-PV sector in Japan, around 30 GW of agri-PV capacity can be set up in Japan if only 1% of the country's farmland is made use of for PV.

The exemption of self-consumption requirements for agri PV, which entered into impact in April 2020, is expected to stimulate interest in such applications, once restrictions for sale as well as setup activities begin to loosen up following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Concerning the writer

Izumi Kaizuka is manager of the study division at RTS Corp. in Tokyo. The PV consulting firm has more than 35 years of background and also belongs to the PV Market Alliance (PVMA). Kaizuka leads a range of study tasks for the Ministry of Economic Climate, Profession as well as Sector (METI), the New Energy and Industrial Technology Growth Organization (NEDO), as well as various other government companies. She has actually been Japan's representative for the IEA PVPS Task 1 (Team for PV strategic analysis and interaction) given that 2003. She is also one of the writers of IEA PVPS Trends Record, which describes the scenario in PV markets.