Under the circumstances that it has entered an era in which the competitiveness of companies and nations is directly linked to the outcome of the GX initiatives and that the importance of Japan’s energy security was reaffirmed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the basic policy was decided from the standpoint that the speed-up of the GX initiative will stabilize energy supply and create new demands/ markets in the decarbonization sector and will lead to the strengthening of industrial competitiveness and the growth in the Japanese economy. The pillars of this policy are GX initiatives based on the major premise of ensuring a stable energy supply, and the realization and implementation of programs such as the Growth-Oriented Carbon Pricing Initiative. The GX initiatives consists of the following: 1) thorough promotion of energy conservation; 2) making renewable energy a main power source; 3) utilization of nuclear power, and 4) other 11 important issues. The maximum utilization of renewable energy and nuclear power is specified. The other 11 important issues include power/gas market development and the storage battery industry, which will affect the expansion of renewable energy introduction, railways, digital investment targeting decarbonization, houses/buildings, infrastructure, as well as the industries of food, agriculture, forestry and fishery, which will expand utilization of PV power.
Energy conservation will be promoted by addressing the shift to non-fossil energy by integrating regulations/support programs and creating subsidies for energy conservation based on the revised Act Concerning the Rational Use of Energy (Energy Conservation Act). As for making renewable energy a main power source, thorough accomplishment of the renewable energy power source ratio of 36 to 38% in FY 2030 is targeted based on the Sixth Strategic Energy Plan with the close cooperation among the related ministries, agencies and organizations, and the eagerness of achieving the target ratio is about to change from being “ambitious” to “must-have”. As for PV power generation, introduction of community-led PV power will be promoted by the utilization of the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures, as well as promoting the expansion of PV installations in public facilities, housing, factories and warehouses, airports, railways, etc., as the immediate actions. Furthermore, the expansion of non-FIP introduction models will be promoted in addition to those under the FIP program. Since the electric grids will be improved and output fluctuation responses will be accelerated in the medium-to-long term, the actions for the next 10 years include securing dispatching ability by nationwide improvement of electric grids and utilization of stationary storage batteries, improving technological self-sufficiency ratio by GW-scale mass production of next-generation solar cells such as perovskite solar cells, ensuring business discipline toward PV installations in harmony with local communities, maximized utilization of the existing PV systems, and systematic measures to the prospected mass disposal of PV modules, and it is estimated that public and private investment of more than 20 trillion Yen ($ 147 billion) will be necessary. As such, PV plays a major role in the basic policy.
From now on, introduction and deployment of PV power generation in Japan are expected to be grow with the all-out efforts of the related ministries, agencies, and local governments based on the Basic Policy for the Realization of GX and also from the perspective of energy security.
On the other hand, the PV industry has been focusing on new installations, but from now on, the industry will transit to a development stage based on three axes, pursuit of introduction, pursuit of O&M, and pursuit of PV power services, toward realizing the introduction of 120 GW by 2030. The pursuit of introduction, which is an extension of the current status, covers the area where sophistication is required for the 60 GW to be newly installed. The pursuit of O&M covers the area to maintain stable long-term operation of the existing 60 GW and the coming 60 GW installation with an expected full-scale growth based on the accumulated technology and knowledge. The pursuit of PV power services covers the area to stably supply 150 TWh/year PV power by 2030 and the area of creation where a future rapid growth, such as formation of a group of operators conducting PV power services and aggregation, is expected. The 120 GW introduction target for 2030 cannot be achieved without development and strengthening of the PV industry (we named “PVX”) based on these three axes.
Policy development, introduction development, and industrial development regarding PV power generation are progressing rapidly around the world. In Japan, there is an urgent need to set goals of PV, as shown in Figure 1, for drawing a vision of the PVX by the public and private sectors to secure the annual installed capacity and to strengthen the industrial infrastructure. The PV industry is required to develop into an independent industry heading toward the next generation energy industry, as PVX, to support the stable supply of 150 TWh/year power. The PV industry is the driving force behind realization of GX.
Figure 1 The goals which the Japanese PV industry should aim for (RTS proposal)