Some vested interests want you to think that Japan’s new renewable energy feed-in tariffs (FIT) are really expensive! Well, their sort of right – everything costs money, but are the FITs really expensive?
The Japan renewable energy feed-in tariffs system, after its launch in July, will be paid for by electricity consumers. Everyone who buys electricity will have some additional amount tagged onto their bill each month to pay for the renewable deployment.
A typical household with a 7,000 yen (about €68 or US$88 per month) electric bill will be charged an additional renewable energy fee of 70 to 100 yen (about one Euro or US dollar) per month. These fees will be collected from everyone and used to pay for the FITs for renewable energy deployed.
Is this expensive? Personally, I don’t think so. It sounds extremely reasonable. It could be twenty times more expensive and I would still think it’s a small price to pay.
How does the renewable energy fee compare with other fees on Japanese electric bills? A great article at Nikkei BP (in Japanese) today provided the answers. Here is a comparison:
Renewable Energy Fee: 70 to 100 yen/month
Nuclear Disaster Fuel Surcharge 720 yen/month (about €7,00 or US$9.00)
Nuclear Fuel Cycle Surcharge 200 yen/month (about €2 or US$2.50)
The Nuclear Disaster Fuel Surcharge is the additional cost of fossil fuels that are required because the nuclear plants cannot be used due to the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.
The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Surcharge has been charged for a very long time. It is used to pay for the reprocessing of nuclear fuel (MOX fuel) as a part of the dead-in-the-water old energy policy to create a plutonium fuel cycle.
Nuclear fees are about 920 yen per month! Nuclear related surcharges are already about 10X the expected renewable energy fees. Renewables are very cheap indeed.
And this does not even begin to consider other costs, such as:
- Taxpayer bailout of TEPCO, now nationalized due to the enormous expenses incurred due to the nuclear catastrophe
- Destruction of 160,000+ livelihoods due to the nuclear radiation catastrophe and the ensuing massive economic costs
- Still unknown decontamination costs due to the nuclear radiation catastrophe
- Decades of government subsidized nuclear research
The list could go on and on. For now, I hope that when you hear some silly person tell you that the cost of renewable energy fees in Japan is too high, you can tell them that the nuclear fees were at least ten times higher!
As always, looking forward to your feedback!