Five years ago, Japan introduced a feed-in tariff system in a bid to promote the introduction of renewable energy on a large scale following the collapse of public trust in nuclear power due to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, and subsequent triple meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Under the scheme, utilities were obliged to purchase solar, wind, mini-hydro, geothermal and biomass-generated electricity at a fixed rate for a fixed number of years.

Feed-in tariffs have been used in other countries, especially in Europe, to kick-start renewable energy investment by major utilities and start-up firms, and to spur technological innovation, thus leading to lower costs for consumers.