Japan - Country Commercial Guide
Renewable Energy

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-10-30


Japan has become one of the world’s largest renewable energy markets, with considerable long-term growth potential.  The focus on renewables intensified following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and caused a re-think on Japan’s significant reliance on nuclear power.    Subsequently, the Japanese government has developed policies aimed to boost the supply of renewables, with a goal to reach 22-24 percent of the energy mix by 2030 – specifically, hydro (8.8-9.2%), Solar (7%), Wind (1.7%), Biomass (3.7-4.6%), and Geothermal (1.0-1.1%).

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is responsible for developing and enforcing renewable energy laws and regulations in Japan, including the Feed-in Tariff system (FIT), which has been in place since July 2012 to encourage renewable energy deployment.  METI re-examines and revises FIT rates annually, applying varying levels, per renewable source.  Recently, METI, which seeks to create a market that is FIT-independent, has been leading a comprehensive review of renewable energy regulations.  Possible revisions include the prospect of new wheeling charges for power generators and reforming rules on using the power grid to increase renewable energy installation.  Given investment inducements, and the decision to shut down most of Japan’s nuclear reactors, renewable energy development has grown steadily.

Market trends

Following is short summary of current market updates related to renewable sources:

·       Offshore Wind: Japan has substantial coastline and has enormous potential in offshore wind.  Despite having technological capability, Japan has remained behind many other advanced economies in installation of domestic offshore wind power generation.  The Government of Japan (GOJ) has introduced legislation to strengthen the regulatory environment for offshore wind and is committed to work together with private sector to promote offshore wind power generation in both domestic and international markets.

·       Coal phase-out: Japan has traditionally relied heavily on coal-fired power generation, even more so as nuclear power generation came offline after 2011.  But METI has recently announced a roadmap to ultimately phase out coal-fired generation, to reduce carbon emissions and shift toward using more renewable energy.

·       FIP system: METI announced in February 2020 its intent to begin drafting legislation to introduce a Feed-in-Premium (FIP) system – likely for large solar and wind projects. 

·       Solar power:  In addition to decreasing FIT rates, METI is developing new regulations that require solar power generators to create a Mandatory Decommissioning Cost Reserve.   Details are expected by 2022. 

·       Biomass fuel (imported biomass wood): Japan plans to build several large-scale biomass power plants, but relies heavily on imported biomass fuels.  GOJ agencies are currently assessing food-feed-fuel competition and lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  New rules based on this lifecycle analysis are still pending and will affect the market.

·       Aggregation and balancing: To maximize the installation of renewable energy, industry has shown great interest in market proven aggregation, balancing and remote-control systems and grid-level energy storage. 

·       Battery/storage: As a 10-year plan that required utilities to purchase surplus electricity from residential solar system owners ends, these half a million households may consider finding new ways to benefit from their existing soar system by adding battery storage.

·       Carbon Recycling: To mitigate climate change, Japan is keen to promote carbon capture, storage and utilization technologies.  In 2109, METI established a Carbon Recycling Advancement Office, part of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE).  

·       Hydrogen: Japan seeks to commercialize hydrogen power generation as well as international hydrogen supply chains and cut the unit hydrogen power generation cost.  R&D has been especially focused in developing a hydrogen vehicle.  METI has developed a basic strategy for the development of a hydrogen society.


International Conference on Carbon Recycling (2020)
Date: October 13, 2020
Venue: Online
Organizer: METI and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

The 9th Revival of Fukushima Renewable Energy Industrial Fair 2020 (REIF Fukushima 2020)
Date: October 28-29, 2020
Venue: Big Palette Fukushima, Fukushima
Organizer: Fukushima Prefectural Government and Fukushima Center for Industrial Promotion

SDGs Week
EcoPro 2020
Climate Change Biz 2020

Date: November 26-28, 2020
Venue: Online
Organizer: Sustainable Management Promotion Organization (SuMPO) and Nikkei Inc.

The Renewable Energy 2020 Exhibition
Date: December 9-11, 2020

Venue: Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo
Organizer: Japan Council for Renewable Energy (JCRE)

ENEX 2021(Energy and Environment Exhibition)
Date: December 9-11, 2020
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo
Organizer: Energy Conservation Center Japan

DER Japan 2021 (Distributed Energy Resources Japan)
Date: December 9-11, 2020

Venue: Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo
Organizer: Jtb Communication Design

World Smart Energy Week 2021
(17th FC Expo, 14th PV Expo, 12th Battery Japan, 11th International Smart Grid Expo, 9th Wind Expo, 6th International Biomass Expo, 5th Thermal Power Expo, and 3rd Resource Circulation Expo)
Date: March 3-5, 2021
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo
Organizer: Reed Exhibitions Japan

The 30th New Environment Exposition 2020 (N-EXPO 2021)
The 13th Global Warming Prevention Exhibition 2020 (GWPE 2021)
Date: March 17-19, 2021
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo
Organizer: Nippo Business Co., Ltd.


Web Resources

Agency for Natural Resources and Energy

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization

    The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan

Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association

Japan Wind Power Association

Japan Small Wind Turbines Association

Japan Wood Biomass Association

 Biomass Power Association

Japan Geothermal Association


The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s Energy Committee


CS Japan Contact

Ms. Minae Suzuki

Commercial Assistant



CS Japan Contact

Ms. Minae Suzuki

Commercial Assistant