METI silent on PV FIT reports

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has refused to comment on local media reports suggesting that it has revoked feed-in tariff (FIT) authorisations for 670 developers that have failed to build their solar projects quickly enough.

An additional 780 developers could have their FIT authorisations cancelled by August if they fail to finalise PV module supply agreements and formally secure land on which to build their projects, according to the Yomiuri and Nikkei newspapers.

A METI official told Recharge that the ministry is unable to confirm or deny the reports at this time. However, it is expected to formally comment on the matter next week.

Last autumn, METI asked developers to report on their solar projects on concerns that a large number of approved projects had not yet been built or put into operation.

The ministry sent out a formal questionnaire asking all developers intending to build PV plants above 400kW in size to report on their progress. The move was widely seen as a precursor to potentially cancelling approvals for developers that have failed to build their projects quickly enough.

The solar FIT for the current fiscal is ¥37.8 ($0.40) per kWh over 20 years, down from ¥42 a year earlier. The government will likely reduce the FIT again from the start of the next fiscal year on 1 April.