REGULATION | Staff Reporter, Japan

Japan warns against fire risk for rooftop PV systems

The number of fire accidents recorded in 2008-2017 hit 172.

Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency has recorded 172 fire accidents related to rooftop solar systems in 2008-2017, pv magazine reports. It said that 110,000 residential PV system owners have deployed installations on rooftops which have combustible materials and advised them to conduct continuous inspections.

The report adds that seven incidents led to burnt roofs after installations were laid on surfaces which included combustible materials.

The Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA) said, “The JPEA has to deal with this as carefully as possible so that Japanese people should not bear a negative image in mind about solar PV generation and in view of solar PV users’ protection.”

It released a document with instructions on avoiding fire incidents. The agency argued that the fire risk issue should not be used against Japan’s transition towards clean energy. “Some media are exaggerating the matter, too much,” it said.

As Japan struggles to raise the share of nuclear in the country’s energy mix, renewables like solar and wind could provide some relief. However, in 2018, it drew the ire of investors after launching a proposal to slash solar feed-in tariffs (FIT) that aims to address public burden on the subsidies and unfilled permits.

Photo by CoCreatr on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

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