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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 1 - 7  > Utilities refuse to buy electricity from renewable energy firms
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2014 October 1 - 7 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Utilities refuse to buy electricity from renewable energy firms

October 1, 2014
Power companies decided to suspend purchases of electricity from renewable energy firms. Environmental organizations are criticizing the utilities’ decision for discouraging the use of renewable energy.

The government requires utilities to purchase electricity generated through renewable energy sources by local power firms.

The Kyushu Electric Power Company, which seeks to restart its Sendai nuclear power plant, announced on September 24 that it decided to stop accepting new purchase applications from renewable power generation plant operators.

As the reason for that, the utility claimed that it had already received applications for a total of 12.6 million kW, and if all the applicant plants run full swing in spring and autumn when power demand slackens, this will upset the supply-demand balance of electricity and cause difficulty in maintaining a stable power supply.

Ohno Teruyuki of the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation pointed out that the figure of 12.6 million kW is the maximum capacity of output and the average power output will be less than that. He said that in countries like Germany and Denmark, 30-40% of electoral power is provided from natural energy sources thanks to use of technologies that can efficiently handle large swings in electricity output. The Japanese government should instruct utilities to employ these stabilizing technologies, he added.

In addition to the Kyushu Electric Power Company, three utilities will follow the Kyushu decision, and three other power companies have put a limit on electricity purchases from solar power plant operators.
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