The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Environment will allow wind power plants to become operational within about seven years from the current 10 years. Starting next fiscal year, they will simplify procedures for environmental assessment tests. The government aims to boost the percentage of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix from the current 3% to 22-24% by 2030, but solar power makes up most of renewable power. It will promote the use of other renewable energy sources, including wind, to meet the goal.
The government requires power generation operators to conduct environmental assessment tests prior to construction. At present, it examines construction plans submitted by operators first and sends experts to conduct on-site inspections. METI and the MOE plan to conduct document screening and on-site inspections simultaneously, through which they expect operators will be able to construct wind plants and generate power within two-thirds of the current period.
In July 2012, the government started a feed-in-tariff program, but more than 90% of certified power output is sourced from solar power. This is because solar power generation can be operational in a shorter period of time. (Abridged)