First Mover Advantages Will Accrue to Investors in Japanese Renewables

White & Case LLP

The Japanese government is poised to kick-start the renewable energy industry by establishing high feed-in tariffs for solar, wind, geothermal, small-scale hydro and biomass. Following the 3.11 nuclear crisis, Japan has shut down 53 of its 54 reactors. The last one will be shut down for mandatory maintenance in early May. While it is not likely that Japan will completely abandon nuclear energy in the near to medium term, due to local opposition, it is not at all clear when the reactors can be restarted. Power shortages are expected and renewables will undoubtedly play a much larger role in Japan’s energy mix.

The Minister of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will make a final decision on feed-in tariff levels based on the recommendations of an independent advisory committee before July 1, 2012, when the Renewable Energy Act (REA) will come into force. On April 27, 2012, the committee made the following recommendations...

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