Japan Incentivizes Battery Storage Projects Amid Growing Demand

February 28, 2024|Battery Storage

The ramp up of battery storage projects in Japan continues apace, aided by growing subsidy avenues and rising volumes on various electricity markets, from spot to balancing to capacity.

As of May 2023, about 1.1 GW of supply has been contracted for grid-scale storage batteries nationwide, with contracts for an additional 12 GW under consideration, according to METI data. Unsurprisingly, the standout areas for projects are Kyushu and Hokkaido, where a strong growth in solar and wind power projects has led to challenges with balancing the grid. But other regions are also attracting developer interest.

This trend is driven by a clear sense of urgency on the part of national and local authorities. It’s no surprise that as METI launched an entirely new “green” capacity auction system this year, officials made sure to allocate up to a quarter of its initial 4 GW on offer to battery and other energy storage projects.

The need to incentivize more balancing capacity in Japan is strong. Renewable energy sources already account for a fifth of domestic electricity volumes, but the sector’s further expansion is focused on solar and wind power, which are intermittent. By 2030, official estimates show variable renewable energy reaching 20% of Japan’s power mix. Noting the demand case and ever-growing renewables curtailment numbers nationwide, more and more firms are tapping into Japan’s battery storage opportunities. We take a look at some of the prominent projects on the horizon.

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