Japan Looks to Increase its Renewable Energy Target
While Australia is looking to scale back its renewable energy efforts, Japan is looking to expand its own quite dramatically.
Japan’s environmental minister Nobuteru Ishihara was quoted as saying 30% of Japan’s energy should come from renewable sources. This is a 10% increase from the target Japan laid out in 2010 of having 20% of all energy be renewable by 2030.
The plan is part of a long-running effort to change the country’s energy profile in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in March of 2011. At last year’s UN Summit in Warsaw, Poland, the Japanese government reneged on its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. It argued that to meet its goals would be impossible because of the disaster.
Since then, however, the government has made more attempts to go green, becoming a leader in renewable energy in the Asia-Pacific region. Large clean energy subsidies have driven solar investment in the country as well, making them one of the sunniest in the world.
Beyond the environmental issue, Ishihara believes that driving clean energy production would help foster jobs and economic growth in regions of the country that are severely lacking. Some also believe that the focus could lead to partnerships with other countries in the region, such as Korea and the U.S.
The ramping up of the target could also lead investors leaving Australia as they look to scale back their RET to look toward Japan, as the country looks as it will present strong investing opportunities in the near future.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.