Japan pushes ahead with deregulation efforts for geothermal

Japan pushes ahead with deregulation efforts for geothermal Geothermal plant in Hachimantai City, Iwate Prefecture, Japan (source: Iwate Chinetsu)
Alexander Richter 2 Jun 2021

Japan's government introduces deregulatory efforts aimed at easing geothermal development in Japan as part of a wider renewable energy push.

To push renewable energy development in Japan, the central government is now removing some of the red tape for the energy sector. We reported on those plans in April. The goal is to relax regulations that currently holds back development.

With these planned deregulation efforts, the Environment Ministry is eyeing geothermal power installations at national and quasi-national parks, so Asahi Shimbun.

With key geothermal resources in Japan being located in national parks, development efforts have been hampered due to strict regulations. Now the Ministry plans to introduce new criteria for permits to develop geothermal projects with detailed requirements for the approval of those projects.

Among those elements to be introduced is allowing operators to start operations after eight years of preparatory work instead of the currently stipulated ten years. Japan’s government plans to double the number of geothermal plants in the country by 2030, from currently 62 plants.

The new regulatory measures were introduced yesterday by the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council, an advisory council and include also some easing elements for wind, solar development and more.

Furthermore, there are plans for the launch of a mechanism that makes it easier to acquire electricity generated by renewable energy, and the issuance of green energy certificates by public entities. With a new trading market for energy it is hoped that the demand for renewable energy by businesses can be met and gains more momentum. There will also be a location element, encouraging the purchase of locally produced power.

Source: The Asahi Shimbun