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Biomass power boom prompts Japan to tame rising utility rates

Power providers willing to sell at cheapest prices will get priority

Approvals for biomass power plants are expected to become harder to obtain in Japan.

TOKYO -- Japan is looking to switch to a bidding process for biomass-generated energy to save costs amid a spike in power plant applications from companies looking to cash in on the current feed-in-tariff system.

Biomass facilities generate power by burning wood chips and other renewable materials that are often imported from abroad. Under the current system, utilities are required to purchase renewable energy at fixed rates over a specified term. For biomass, that period is typically 20 years.

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