Japan Turns to Geothermal Energy
In light of the government's eased restrictions on drilling, Japan is starting to look at building geothermal plants in a volcanic zone in the area worst hit by nuclear disaster last year.
About 10 Japanese firms studying geothermal potential in the area will meet by early May to begin brainstorming. Together, their plans would supply the country with a total capacity of 270 megawatts.
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In the past, geothermal projects failed to gain support amid fears of the impact such plants would have on hot springs. While Japan ranks as the world's third-richest nation in geothermal power, the government has not built a geothermal plant in over 10 years. Due to restrictions on development in national parks, where most resources lie, many projects have been denied approval.
Amid a new climate of energy considerations, however, the Japanese are seriously rethinking tapping a supply that seems to offer less potentially devastating consequences than nuclear power plants.
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.