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Japan May Cancel 70% Of Solar Projects, Approves New Coal Plants


As much as 70 per cent of the solar capacity already approved by Japan’s government to receive preferential rates but not yet started may never get built because of a recent law change in Japan, according to estimates by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has approved about 75 gigawatts of solar projects of 10 kilowatts or larger since the start of an incentive program for clean energy in July 2012. Of that capacity, about 53 gigawatts has yet to come online, according to the ministry.

Japan’s parliament passed legislation this week to overhaul the incentive program. Under the new rule, projects that have already been given approval will be canceled if the developer fails to secure a grid connection by March 31.

The change was brought in because of a growing backlog of solar projects.

BNEF estimates 37.2 gigawatts will be called off because of the law revision, according to a report released Friday.

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Japan Approves New Coal Plants

Japan’s environment minister, Tamayo Marukawa, endorsed two new coal-fired power projects near Tokyo, while urging the power producers that will operate the plants to ensure they put measures in place to cut emissions from the facilities.

The endorsement is a reversal of the stance adopted by the environment minister in November when she said she wouldn’t support two other coal projects because a voluntary framework set up by the power industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions wasn’t sufficient….