Japan to draft guidelines for disposal of solar, wind power facilities


The industry ministry have decided to draft guidelines on how to dispose of and recycle decommissioned solar and wind power facilities.

Illegal dumping has been increasing as the machines age and break and frustrated operators get out of the business.

Sources said on Saturday that the ministry will explain its decision at a meeting of a subcommittee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy, which advises the minister, on Tuesday.

In July 2012, Japan launched the feed-in tariff program, which obliges utilities to purchase electricity generated from renewable energy sources for up to 20 years at fixed prices. Solar power makes up over 90 percent of all such electricity purchased under the program, which has proven unpopular with the utilities.

If private entrepreneurs decide to exit the business when the feed-in tariff program ends, the nation is expected to be swamped with illegally dumped equipment and facilities.

Disposing of gigantic windmills, for example, could pose a serious challenge to many wind-power entrepreneurs.

Although disposal costs are included in the purchase prices set under the feed-in tariff system, there is no guarantee that the suppliers will use this money for disposal. The ministry will consider asking the suppliers to create independent accounts to reserve funds for that move.

To prevent illegal dumping, the ministry will suggest ways for suppliers to remove, transport and dispose of their equipment. It will also support finding ways to build eco-friendly facilities that can be recycled easily.

In addition, the ministry will urge private suppliers to continue using their power generation facilities beyond the end of the feed-in tariff program to produce electricity for their own use.

  • Liars N. Fools

    This is a distraction. The government should focus on decommissioning nukes.

  • Aeron

    I’m glad that the privateers who were using green energy just to make a buck are getting weeded out sooner rather than later. Unfortunately it seem to be leaving the countries that made the mistake of investing in them (the mistake being the choice of suppliers, not clean energy itself) holding the bag. Hopefully Japan (or any other country affected by this) will take it as a sign that they should just do it themselves.