*More information on specific geothermal power plants can be found HERE.
Plans for geothermal power
|Projected additional capacity(MWe)
(Ministry of Economy Trade & Industry, 2015)
|Installed capacity (TJ/yr)
Individual space heating
Industrial process heat
Bathing and swimming
Cooking and animal farming
Geothermal heat pumps
(Yasukawa, et al., 2020)
A pilot project for direct use was prioritised before the Central American Integration System (SICA), which will be carried out with the support of the BGR Field II Project.
Japan Geothermal Association (JGA) - JGA aims to support geothermal development through research on geothermal power generation; making recommendations and petitioning government; facilitating information exchange among members regarding geothermal power generation; and promotion of understanding and public awareness of geothermal power generation.
The Geothermal Research Society of Japan (GRSJ) - GRSJ promotes science and technology about geothermal exploration, development, power generation and direct use, including ground-source heat pump through research activities, publishing scientific journals and holding annual conferences.
International Training Programs for Human Resource Development in Geothermal Energy by Japanese Government – Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a subsidiary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, conducts a various projects to develop human resource in the geothermal energy development. JICA’s Technical Cooperation Projects send experts to target countries to improve public institutions’ capacity. They also offer training programs in Japan, which range from a short two-weeks course for executives to 6-weeks course for drilling managers, and a half-year course for geothermal resource engineers. These courses are carried out with support from universities, industry and government. Besides, it also provides masters and doctoral programs.
JICA’s Cooperation in Geothermal Development at Great Rift Valley in Africa – JICA provides capacity development, technical assistance and financing through grants and Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans for geothermal projects in East Africa. Countries with ongoing projects are Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.
JICA Latin America support - JICA is supporting projects in Costa Rica and Bolivia through ODA loans for the development of geothermal power plants. JICA is also providing technical support for a joint research project between universities and geothermal related institutions in Japan and El Salvador to develop geothermal exploration technique in El Salvador.
JICA Indonesia support - JICA has supported geothermal projects in Indonesia through ODA loans for the development of geothermal power plants including Lumut Balai, Tulehu, Hululais, Ulubelu, and Lahendong. A Technical Corporation Project for geothermal policy development is also ongoing.
GNS Science – JOGMEC Partnership – In 2015, New Zealand GNS Science and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. (JOGMEC) signed an MOU, which was renewed in 2020. It aims to deepen cooperation in the geothermal industry between the two countries.
GeoSurvey - Geoscience Enterprise Inc. (GSE) Partnership – Iceland GeoSurvey and Japanese Geoscience Enterprise Inc. (GSE) signed an agreement in 2019 to work together to conduct geothermal energy research in Japan.
Legal and Regulatory Framework
Japan has no specific geothermal law relating to the licensing of geothermal resources. However, developers are required to sign lease agreements with landowners and obtain drilling permits from the local authorities. Some laws that impact on geothermal development include Natural Parks Act, Hot Springs Act as well as a raft of Environmental Acts depending on the site of exploration or development.
In 2012, the FIT regime was implemented for geothermal power production, and it was later revised in 2017.