Published on Dec 21, 2018 in Japan
Over 500kW capacity of solar power plants is going to be eligible for a bid of the solar auction from 2019, expanded from the last year: 2000kW. Expected capacity of the bid is now 750MW in solar auction in 2019.
The Japanese government determined to expand the scale of the bid capacity in solar auction. In 2019, over 500kW plants are eligible for the bid which is much bigger range than 2018: 2000kW.
Solar auction based on FIT system: paid for excess electricity generated by renewable energy system, was introduced by Japanese government in 2017. The purpose of this is to lower the cost of a solar PV system by accelerating the investment and competition between solar power plant owners. Until today, there have been three solar auctions held in total.
Up until 2018, the target of the solar auction was limited to only over 2MW-scale PV system. In 2019, a range of the target is going to be expanded; over 500kW-scale PV can be a target of the bid. There was another plan which is to expand the limit down to 250kW, which could happen in the near future.
The auction with over 500kW-scale PV system eligible will happen at the fourth auction in 2019. According to the government plan open in public, May 31 is the due for the business plan submit, and August 9 is the beginning day of the bid.
Expected capacity of the bid PV system in 2019 is around 750MW: 300MW for the fourth auction and 450MW for the fifth auction.
The government meeting for this decision had another discussion about how to handle the regional public projects regarding the renewable energy.
The meeting ended with agreeing to reducing the amount of the deposit for the public organization to make an entry to the bid. However, the regional public project regarding the renewable energy is difficult to define. A business plan with the direct investment from the public organization or a business plan with the official approval following the standard based on the law, those have to be confirmed to define the bid business plan as a regional public project.
There are other unique objects to be discussed. Solar Sharing: solar PV system with the agricultural land below the panels is one of those hot topics.
It is said that the auction system at this time was modeling that of European countries, but it is doubtful that Japan is as mature as those countries regarding the renewable energy; for example, FIT system in Japan still has some issues and how the government and companies handle increasing power system interconnections are still unsolved topic on the table. Therefore, as our opinion, introducing the solar auction system in the market does not simply reduce the cost of the PV system.