In Japan, a draft proposal on green building requirements was recently approved at a government-sponsored panel meeting, according to reporting by news agencies based in the country and elsewhere. The proposal calls for a tightened energy efficiency standard that will be applicable to new residential buildings starting in 2025.
The draft proposal points out that Japan is striving toward having PV systems installed on 60% of single-family houses by 2030, so building regulations have to be revised and expanded to support this initiative. Next year, the amendments to the relevant laws will be submitted to the National Diet.
Under Japan’s current regulations related to energy efficiency requirements for buildings, new buildings that are “medium” and larger in size must meet certain standards. However, there are no significant mandates on energy efficiency for small and residential buildings.
The draft proposal states that in order to achieve the ambitious goal of reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 46% by 2030, the government has to promote the adoption of energy-saving technologies and renewable generation among new buildings. According to an article from Bloomberg, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has suggested that every house and apartment building built in and after 2040 will be required to be fitted with a PV system.
The adoption of PV generation is now standard for new public housing projects and public buildings. The next step for the government is to have PV systems installed on nearly all of the existing and future buildings in the country. Rooftop PV systems are currently the most viable option for Japan if it wants to continue raising its PV generation capacity. The country lacks land for ground-mounted PV power plants. Moreover, Kyodo News Agency reported that PV generation will soon be cheaper than nuclear generation in Japan.
There is also a scheme that provides loans and tax incentives for installing PV systems on private residential homes in cities as part of the construction or renovation process. Applicants under this scheme must complete installation by 2022 in order to receive benefits.