Japan to set 'separate offshore FIT'

Japan has decided to set a separate feed-in tariff (FIT) rate for offshore wind in a bid to spur development, say reports in the country. 

The country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will split offshore from the onshore wind FIT at the start of the next fiscal year in April 2014, according to The Nikkei.

Both onshore and offshore developments currently enjoy the same rate of ¥23.1 yen per kWh ($0.232) over 20 years.

The government cut the FIT for solar generation in April following huge growth in PV installations, but encouraging wind development has proved more difficult and its rate was left unchanged.

Deploying offshore wind in Japan is trickier than in many other markets because of factors such as the deep waters off the nation’s coasts, and there are fears that the high upfront costs could deter investors.

METI is undertaking analysis that will determine the new offshore rate, says The Nikkei.