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Japan to set clean-energy subsidies matching panel’s proposals

Japan is set to announce incentives for renewable-energy generation on June 18 and will endorse the rates proposed by a government panel, an official said today.

Trade Minister Yukio Edano will confirm the subsidized tariff of 42 yen (53 US cents) a kilowatt-hour for 20 years for solar power, Masato Yasuda, an official in charge of the incentive program at the ministry, said by telephone today.

The decision is needed for Japan to start a so-called feed- in tariff program on July 1 to increase clean-energy use following the March 2011 nuclear accident.

The five-member panel proposed in late April tariffs for solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and small hydropower and the ministry sought public opinions until June 1. Edano will endorse the tariffs recommended by the panel for all five types of clean energy, Yasuda said.

The industry minister’s confirmation will mark the final step in setting the tariffs that will be good until March 2013. The minister will set the terms and rates paid each year.

For wind, the recommended rate was 23.10 yen per kilowatt- hour for 20 years. For geothermal, the panel suggested 27.30 yen a kilowatt-hour for plants with the capacity of 15,000 kilowatts or more and 42 yen for smaller plants, both for 15 years.

The panel recommended hydropower between 25.20 yen and 35.70 yen a kilowatt-hour for 20 years depending on the size of a plant. Biomass was suggested between 13.65 yen and 40.95 yen, depending on the types of fuel, for 20 years.

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