Renewable energy auctions in Japan: Context, design and results

Japan has long been a major energy importer, relying heavily on fossil fuels to meet household and community electricity needs as well as transport and industrial energy demand. Although the country initially opted for nuclear plants to diversify its energy mix, the disaster at Fukushima in 2011 prompted a fundamental shift in Japanese energy policy. With nuclear power increasingly excluded from the future energy mix, renewable energy technologies have become a central element in Japanese power and energy planning. Auctions, meanwhile, have emerged as the key policy instrument driving the national transition to renewables. This report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) outlines the country's experience with auctions for solar, wind and biomass power generation. Japan's renewable energy auctions are price-centred and tend to prioritise simple design elements.