Japan to support PV on landfill sites

Japan's Ministry of the Environment (MoE) is preparing to offer policy support to PV developers willing to build ground-mount solar projects of at least 350kW in size on dormant landfill sites.

Japan's general waste landfills and disposal sites for industrial waste could support as much as 7.39GW of solar capacity, according to documents published by the MoE earlier this year. It said it has "created a mid- to long-term introduction promotion proposal for the measures that we determined to be the most important.”

Through the end of 2016, the ministry says it plans to offer subsidies to developers, as well as municipal and prefectural governments, to support feasibility studies and to finance planned PV installations.

It also said that it will develop guidelines related to landfill installations through the end of 2018. From 2016 to the end of 2018, it will consider additional incentives, including tax breaks, to encourage the development of solar on landfill sites that have reached full capacity.

Roughly 3,600 landfills throughout Japan have already reached full capacity and could potentially host ground-mount solar installations, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said.

The MoE said that solar has already been installed at roughly 50 dormant landfills throughout the country. The ministry has spoken to the developers of these projects to learn about the methods they have employed and the issues they have faced, as well as the costs involved in completing such installations.