Rush to biomass power generation in Japan

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In Japan, after FIT (feed in tariff) system was introduced in July 2012, many plans of wood biomass power generation facility mushroomed and some have already started running. There are total of about sixty plans out which 33 will start operation next year. There are 18 facilities, which will start up by next April.

There are some huge generation plans with power output of 75,000 - 100,000 kw on the coast then small co-gen plants in local area. Six facilities, which use unused wood, are already operating. They are Green Hatsuden Aizu, Green Hatsuden Ooita, Nagano Forest Resources Utilization Co-op., Woody Kawai, Nakagawa Biomass and Miye Enewood.

Fuel raw material procurement is progressing all over Japan. There are difference in supply capacity and prices by the area. In Western Japan and Shikoku, the price of unused wood is 8,000 yen per green ton delivered to chip plant. In Kyushu, there are growing new demand for logs for fuel and export and it is hard to procure with less than 7,000 yen.

Log production in Japan should be active in winter months but the log market may show different picture when low grade logs bring high prices, which may impact log prices for sawmills and plywood mills.

There are some revisions of the initial plan like downscale of generation capacity and there are some cases of cancellation by failure of property acqui sition and opposition by local residents.

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Pralhad Mulick
Pralhad Mulick
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