Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry announced June 18 above-market rates to be paid for geothermal, solar, and wind power under long-term purchase contracts starting July 1 to encourage more power production from renewable sources. For the period ending March 31, 2013, utilities will be required to pay feed-in tariffs of 35 cents/KWh for geothermal, 54 cents/KWh for solar, and 30 cents/KWh for wind. Purchase periods will be 20 years for solar and wind and 15 years for geothermal. The program is Japan’s core policy to increase its rate of energy self-sufficiency, now at barely 4 percent; the country relies on imports for the rest of its energy, including primarily coal and oil.
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