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2013年9月11日 (水)

再生エネ発電 買い取り制の不備を見直せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 10, 2013
Government should pull the plug on laggards in feed-in tariff system
再生エネ発電 買い取り制の不備を見直せ(9月8日付・読売社説)

Among business operators awarded licenses to generate electricity through solar power or other renewable energy sources and to sell it to power companies under the so-called feed-in tariff system, a surprisingly large number have yet to flick the “on” switch.
 太陽光など再生可能エネルギーで発電した電気の固定価格買い取り制度で、政府の認定を受けたのに発電を始めない事業者が驚くほど多い。

Do these operators, who obtained the right to sell electricity at high, fixed rates, intend to start generating electricity only after solar panel prices fall further? The cost of purchasing renewable energy from these operators will be added to electricity charges set by power utilities. Consumers will not accept that they will eventually have to bear this additional financial burden.
 高い価格で電力会社に電気を売る権利だけを取得し、太陽光パネルの値下がりを待って発電を始めるというのだろうか。買い取り費用は電気料金に上乗せされる。いずれ割高なコストを負担させられる消費者は、納得できまい。

The government must firmly deal with this situation by, for instance, canceling licenses issued to operators who are needlessly delaying their generation of electricity.
 いたずらに発電を遅らせている事業者の認定を取り消すなど、政府は厳しく対処すべきだ。

The feed-in tariff system started in July 2012. According to the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, renewable power-generating facilities approved by the end of May this year had a total capacity of 22.4 million kilowatts. However, these facilities were only generating about 3 million kilowatts.
 経済産業省によると、買い取り制がスタートした2012年7月から13年5月までに認定された発電設備は計2240万キロ・ワットで、このうち実際に発電しているのは約300万キロ・ワットに過ぎない。

Particularly conspicuous is the fact that more than 90 percent of mega solar plants, which account for the lion’s share of facilities approved under the system, have not yet started generating power.
 特に、大規模太陽光発電(メガソーラー)は、認定された設備が多いうえに、発電を始めていない比率も9割超と極めて高い。

Solar power generation should have the advantage of requiring less time to get from the planning stage to actual generation, compared with the time needed for wind power or geothermal power generation. Even after taking into account such circumstances as the supply shortage of solar panels and the difficulty some operators have in obtaining them, solar power projects have been lagging.
 風力や地熱よりも、計画から発電開始まで短期間で済むのが太陽光の利点のはずだ。品薄でパネルが手に入りにくいなどの事情を考慮しても、進捗(しんちょく)が遅すぎる。

The purchase price for electricity generated by solar energy was lowered in April to about ¥38 per kilowatt-hour from the initially set ¥42. Nonetheless, it remains nearly double the rate for wind power.
 太陽光の買い取り価格は今年4月、当初の1キロ・ワット時あたり42円から約38円に下げられたが、それでも風力などの2倍近く高い。

Tighter screening needed

Shortly before this purchase price was lowered, there was a rush of applications to establish solar power generation facilities. Some applicants, in a bid to acquire a license to sell electricity at high rates, apparently submitted documents despite having no clear plan for acquiring land or purchasing equipment needed for their facility.
 太陽光の価格を下げる直前に、駆け込み申請が殺到した。高価格で認定を得ようと、用地取得や機材購入などの計画があいまいなまま、申請した例もあるようだ。

To reduce “fake applications” that are devoid of substance, the government should set the purchase price not at the time when the license is given, as is currently done, but at the time when power generation actually starts.
 中身のない「カラ申請」を減らすには、買い取り価格を認定時ではなく、発電の開始時に確定するよう見直せばいい。

There are fears that even some of these shoddy projects could be approved under the present screening of application documents. We think it is essential to more strictly check applications by, for instance, making unannounced inspections of the construction sites and equipment suppliers.
 現状の書類審査では、いいかげんな事業計画まで認定される懸念がある。建設地や機材購入先を抜き打ち調査するなど、審査の厳格化も欠かせない。

The ministry has indicated it plans to inspect solar power generation projects that have been certified but whose construction has not yet started. There are reportedly some despicable cases in which licensed operators have sold their renewable energy generation projects to others as “rights.” We hope the ministry gets to the bottom of this matter.
 経産省は認定されても未着工の太陽光発電を調査する方針を示した。再生エネ発電の事業計画を、「権利」として転売する、悪質な例もあるとされる。徹底的に実態を解明してもらいたい。

Setting the purchase price of electricity generated by solar power too high in the first place has caused various problems.
 そもそも、太陽光の買い取り価格が高すぎることが、様々な問題を引き起こしている。

Costs for installing solar panels have fallen by as much as 40 percent since 2009. To prevent electricity charges from soaring, the government needs to flexibly lower the purchase prices of renewable energy, in line with the costs for generating such energy.
 太陽光パネルを設置する費用は、09年から4割も低下した。電気料金の高騰を抑えるためにも、政府は再生エネの買い取り価格を、コスト低下にあわせ、機動的に引き下げる必要がある。

Although expectations for renewable energy are high, the current feed-in tariff system is riddled with flaws. The system should be changed into a more reasonable one that gives greater consideration to the burdens it places on consumers.
 再生エネへの期待は大きいが、現行の導入策は弊害も多い。消費者の負担に配慮した、より合理的な制度に改めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 8, 2013)
(2013年9月8日01時49分  読売新聞)

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