The Paris Agreement that went into effect last November has reinforced awareness of the climate change issues across the globe. With this agreement in place, the aim is to bring greenhouse gas emissions down to effectively zero and to achieve decarbonization. We now have the importance of renewable energies at the forefront of global attention, as countries have put forth targets to achieve certain levels of reduction in greenhouse gasses from 2013 levels, including our targets of a 26-percent reduction by 2030 and an 80-percent reduction by 2050.
Moreover, an IEA report indicates that, in terms of total installed capacity, coal-fired power generation has already been surpassed by that of renewable energies. This reflects renewable energies as becoming a primary source of power on a global scale, and it is an evidence of their growing expanded prevalence as competitive sources of power.
Here in Japan, the FiT system introduced in July 2012 has served to accelerate the popularization of solar power generation. With the “Long-term Energy Supply and Demand Outlook” drawn up in 2015, there is increasing hope that solar will become a pure nationally generated energy source that constitutes 7 percent of Japan’s power in 2030.
On the other hand, we have an issue now in balancing the introduced maximum amounts payable against the financial burden of this on the public. We are at a stage of revising how we are to go about policies of future sustainability for expanded solar use. Such is evidenced by the FiT scheme revamp, which went into effect this April. The FiT scheme has changed from a system that rewards the utilities being used to one that rewards long-term business plans that include maintenance measures. Further, the purchasing price for utilities above 2MW will be decided through bidding.
It is fair to say that we have entered an era that requires improvements of long-term supply stability and cost competitiveness if we are to carry out our country’s responsibilities going forward with respect to core energies.
It is under these circumstances that JPEA - the face of the Japanese solar power generation industry - is taking assertive actions: facilitating intelligence sharing among businesses, passing recommendations in order to make solar energy more widespread and drawing up independent guidelines for the industry. Recently, we sought out to popularize a system that would allow for safe, stable long-term operations, enlisting the help of affiliate bodies and experts to compile the Guideline on Maintenance of PV Systems. This Guideline is found as a recommended reference in the government’s guidelines for making business plans, which form the basis of the revived FiT scheme.
The PV industry stands before some drastic changes taking place in the business environment, from the FiT scheme and the restructuring of Japanese electricity regulations to the decarbonization of energy. Our industry is being asked to meet the needs of this generation, moving forward to create power provider services and to form personal consumption models driven by AI and IoT.
JPEA aims to continue contributing to the long-term growth of the photovoltaic generation business and, with this, to the provision of comfortable, clean living. I ask you all here for your further support and cooperation in helping us reach these ends.