Renewable Energy Institute releases today “Proposal for the 2030 Energy Mix (First Edition)”.
Next March marks the 10-year milestone of the Fukushima nuclear accident. In addition, COP26 will be held in November next year. In Japan, the government is planning to revise the Global Warming Countermeasures Plan and the Strategic Energy Plan towards and during the next year. In this review, it is crucial to pursue a renewable energy path. We need to prevent another nuclear disaster, and to make sure that the lives and properties of people are not threatened by the climate crisis.
The released proposal shows that it is feasible to achieve a "sustainable electricity generation mix", which is supplied by 45% of renewable energy and not dependent on nuclear nor coal-fired generation by 20301 . To achieve this, the potential of renewables deployment by 2030 should be thoroughly empirically examined, and appropriate policy measures should be taken.
By phasing out all coal-fired power generation for electricity by 2030, the carbon dioxide emissions of 460 million tons in FY 2018 can be reduced by more than a half to 204 million tons. In addition to this, if we include those emission reductions other than from power generations, Japan’s emission reduction will be 47% below 2013 levels in 2030, which is well above the current reduction target of 26%.
In terms of the renewable energy shares in power supply in 2030, similar proposals were released in July. The Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), one of Japan's three major business associations, proposed 40% of renewables in power supply by 2030. RE-Users, a network of pioneering companies on renewable energy procurement, is preparing a proposal of more than 44%. In addition, two local government associations have proposed to increase renewables share to "above 40%" or "at least 45%". These Renewable Energy Associations of prefectures and ordinance-designated cities cover 84 million people or more than two-thirds of Japan's total population.
Teruyuki Ohno, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Institute, said, "Renewable Energy Institute's proposal shows that the proposed targets of these companies and local governments are feasible. From this year to next year, Japan will have to make an important choice on its energy policy. We will encourage active discussions and realize a shift in energy policy."
*The Japanese edition was published on 6 August 2020. The English summary of the proposal was released on 2 September 2020.
Highlights of the Proposal
- ・The share of renewable energy in Japan can be increased to at least 45% by 2030 if policies and decisions are made to eliminate the factors that has been restricting the growth.
- ・Natural gas can supply the remaining necessary amount of power generation without using nuclear or coal-fired power.
- ・By phasing out all coal-fired power generation for electricity by 2030, the carbon dioxide emissions of 460 million tons in FY 2018 can be reduced by more than a half, to 204 million tons.
- ・In addition, if we include those emission reductions other than from power generations, Japan’s emission reduction will be 47% below 2013 levels in 2030, which is well above the current reduction target of 26%.
- ・Even though most of the nuclear power plants are not operating, CO2 emissions from energy sources in FY 2018 declined 7% compared to FY 2010, to 1.06 billion tons. This decline is the result of decreased consumption of fossil fuels from lower energy consumption as well as growth in renewable energy.
- ・The number of private houses with solar PV installed is less than 10% of the total number of detached houses, and there is still a large amount of roof top space available for installations. Moreover, land area that can be utilized, such as abandoned farmland, converted golf courses, unoccupied land and fields, etc., amount to 150,000 hectares. Ground-mounted Solar PV plants deployed so far had an output of 44.3 GW and there is the potential to triple this amount.
- ・Imports of natural gas, coal and oil for power generation totaled an estimated 4.5 trillion yen in 2019. By phasing out coal- and oil-fired power, total fossil fuel imports for power generation can be expected to be reduced by around 1 trillion yen.
- ・Solar PV and onshore wind power will be less expensive than coal-or gas fired power by 2025 even in Japan, but existing coal-fired plants are projected to remain the least expensive option. Changing this will require a carbon price of at least 5,500 yen/ton-CO2.
Proposal for Energy Strategy Toward a Decarbonized Society: Achieving a Carbon-Neutral Japan by 2050