Japan to Pass 'Explosive Growth' Renewable Energy Bill
Solar and wind companies, set your sails for Japan! The country is about to pass a landmark bill into law that will see “explosive growth” in both solar and wind energy investment according to Prime Minister Naoto Kan. The bill is designed to reduce Japan’s dependence on nuclear power, which accounts for roughly 30 percent of the country’s energy generation. Japanese lawmakers are readying to sign the bill into law by the end of August.
The bill has been developed and promoted by Prime Minister Kan himself, and seeks not only to move away from nuclear dependence, but also break the energy monopoly held by the country’s 10 major utilities.
The legislation calls for installed renewable energy capacity to rise by at least 20 percent of the country’s total power by the early 2020s.
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The bill will require utilities to purchase power from outside providers, such as cooperatives and private companies. The rule aims to promote the use of alternative energy sources, which currently only make up 9 percent of Japan’s total electricity supply.
Japan’s Energy Minister will be responsible for setting the prices at which utilities must purchase power from renewable energy generators. Unfortunately, this will likely translate to higher electricity prices for manufacturers, who are still trying to recover from the crippling effects of the earthquake and tsunami.
Prime Minister Kan had been pursuing this kind of legislation prior to the catastrophe that led to the Fukushima reactor meltdown, but with little support. However, the meltdown quickly changed the country’s view of nuclear power, and Kan’s bill has gained immense support since. Kan has noted on various occasions that he would not leave office until the law was enacted. The passage of the bill in the coming weeks may mark the final feather in the cap for the relatively unpopular Prime Minister, allowing him to step down with a sense of accomplishment.
Sungrow links Europe's largest energy storage plant to grid
Europe's largest energy storage project, the 100MW/100MWh Minety plant featuring Sungrow's 1500V energy storage system solutions, has been successfully connected to the UK grid.
The UK experienced the most debilitating blackout in nearly a decade in August 2019. The incident exposed the serious lack of frequency regulation of the national grid and demonstrated that the construction of energy storage projects that can regulate the frequency of the grid in a timely fashion should be prioritised. The Minety project, which began at the end of 2019, considerably mitigates the problem and is designed for facilitating grid stability and maximising renewable energy utilisation.
Sungrow supplied both NCM and LFP battery energy storage system solutions featuring high integration, which minimise the footprint, slash the commissioning duration and significantly reduce the system cost by 5%. The solution well meets the latest UK frequency regulation requirement called dynamic containment - requesting the plant to respond to the power instruction of the grid within 1 second, making the project one of the rare 30% of the UK's storage plants equipped with this function.
"We are proud of being part of this landmark project, offering solutions with extreme efficiency and safety while in compliance with the stringent UK grid codes," said James Wu, Vice President of Sungrow, which shipped more than 800MWh of energy storage systems in 2020.
Battery storage capacity in the UK is likely to heavily increase as move towards operating a zero-carbon energy system. At the end of 2019 the GB battery storage capacity was 0.88GWh. National Grid forecasts it could be as high as 2.30GWh in 2025.
Global energy storage updates
TEVOCS has announced the launch of a powerful series of universal portable power stations that provide reliable power for off-grid situations, travel, home backup and more. With an impressive 2080WH capacity and 2000W output, the TEVOCS power station is billed as 'the ultimate power station for modern life' and is available here.
Enlight Renewable Energy has completed the acquisition of 90.1% of the holdings in Clēnera LLC, a leading and seasoned company in the field of initiation, development, construction and operation of solar energy and energy storage projects in the United States.
Last month Canadian Solar Inc. was awarded the first utility-scale battery storage project in Colombia of 45 MW/45 MWh. The project was awarded in the public tender launched by Colombia's Ministry of Energy and Mines, via its affiliate UPME, the Mining and Energy Planning Unit.