Spotlight Activity: Fifth Energy Basic Plan
In July 2018, the government formulated the Fifth Energy Basic Plan. In addition to reviewing the plan for 2030 four years ago, the new plan shows multiple energy strategies for 2050. This plan does not aim to set target figures for 2050 but rather to prepare multiple energy-oriented scenarios and pursue the most effective options. These options include:
1. Energy Saving Society
First of all, as a countermeasure to global warming, the Fifth Energy Basic Plan aims to promote the practice of an energy saving society. In order to realize this, the plan promotes energy conservation, especially for buildings and houses, next generation cars in the transport sector, and improvement of urban and rural infrastructure.
2. Energy-Mix Strategies
In order to achieve 22% to 24% renewable energy by 2030, Japan will work on improving solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass power generation technologies while also researching paths through which they can reduce their cost. Japan currently lacks energy self-reliance because nuclear power generation was stopped due to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Therefore, the government seeks find ways of making nuclear power safer. The Fifth Energy Basic Plan seeks to establish the safety of nuclear power and work to secure the safe disposal of nuclear waste. In addition, Fukushima prefecture where the nuclear power plant accident occurred is exploring the feasibility of large offshore wind power generation.
Under the Fifth Energy Plan Japan will seek to improve the efficiency and strengthen the regulation of fossil fuel power generation Promoting competition in the electricity market and utilizing heat efficiently, such as the spread of cogeneration also will be emphasized. Japan aims to lead global climate change measures by developing these advanced technologies for use in international markets and supporting the introduction of advanced technology.
3. Hydrogen Society
The Japanese government will take steps to implement its long-term goal of having a hydrogen society. It will seek to reduce the cost of hydrogen supply, and disseminate household fuel cells and FCV while also commercializing P2G technology for large-scale long-term electricity storage in 2030.
Status: Right Direction
In Japan, it is expected that the introduction of renewable energy will expand in the future. However, renewable energy use in Japan is largely hindered by the limited capacity of the electric grid. Therefore, the generation cost of renewable energy is still much higher than in the US and European countries.
We are disappointed that the Fifth Energy Plan’s plan to increase these of renewable energy only about 3% over the course of the 14 years between 2016 to 2030. Even in 3 years from 2013 to 2016, the ratio of renewable energy has increased about 3%. Plus, it the plan expresses an intention to establish 35 coal-fired power plants in Japan under the policy of promoting large-scale thermal power. Coal-fired power generation emits large amounts of most greenhouse gas emissions, which is goes against the Paris Agreeement’s global effort to reduce global warming.
Please send the following message to the policymaker(s) below.
Dear Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko,
We congratulate our government for aiming to have our “main power supply” come from renewable energy. However, in order to accelerate the introduction of renewable energy, we recommend securing the priority of integrating renewable energy into our country’s power grids. If really renewable energy is to be “main power supply”, we should set higher targets. Also, even with high efficiency, the emission from the coal-fired power plants is about twice as much as LNG, which will make it difficult to achieve our country’s 2050 emissions reduction target. Our government should not use coal as an important baseload power source. It is necessary to prohibit the new construction of such plants.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Secretariat of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy Director General Affairs Division Strategic Planning Division Tanaka
Person in charge: Akamatsu, Tomizawa, Ozawa
Phone: 03-3501-1511 (extension 4471) 03-3501-2096 (direct) 03-3580-8426 (FAX)