Japan energy transformation observation

Polaris solar PV net news: Editor’s Note: 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami Northeast, led to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Nuclear power accounted for Japan power generation 27%, after the accident, Japan immediately shut down all 50 nuclear power plants in the country, and safety monitoring of these nuclear power plants. It can be said that this event has become Japan energy structure change in a major turning point. In May, the Japan Government announced that 14 of the, including the Fukushima nuclear power plant decommissioning, leaving only 2 continues to run while the rest of the nuclear power plant will have to continue to wait to obtain a permission to run license.


Japan energy transformation observation

Japan nuclear accident occurred after 5 years, as the original host Japan nuclear power 27% power supply is shut down, the country tries to increase power generation and clean energy power generation to make up for the lack of power supply section.

By 2013, although Japan increased liquefied natural gas, petroleum, power generation, makes up the closed nuclear power shortages in the short term, but this is not only a rapid increase in carbon dioxide emissions also significantly increase the cost of fossil fuels (mainly because of the surge in fuel prices). Meanwhile, renewable energy in Japan is rising rapidly.

2010-2015, Japan electric power demand continued to decline in 5 years, from 906 TWh to 797 TWh, about 3.7%. Due to falling demand and the development of renewable energy, making Japan experienced after Fukushima, fossil fuel imports have slowed, and carbon dioxide emissions also declined. It is learned that by 2014, Japan carbon emissions fell for the first time. Despite the drop in the country’s GDP that year 2%, Japan’s Environment Minister, said the key to reducing carbon dioxide emissions is to reduce energy consumption through renewable energy and improving carbon intensity.

Policy can guarantee energy transition

Japan has in recent years taken measures to really be able to guarantee the country’s energy transition?

Careful observation shows that Japan has recently kept modifying the renewable energy price subsidies. This policy was enacted in July 2012, since then, the PV industry and finally in Japan be strongly developed.

In accordance with the policies and regulations, capacity over 100 MW of commercial scale PV power station, about 43.2 trillion yen available per kilowatt-hour (2.8 trillion yuan) in subsidies. After the policy of incentives, from 2010 to 2015, Japan renewable power generation increased from 10% to 15% per cent. This part—not included growth increased from 1% to 4.7%. In addition, PV power cost in 4 years has also been significantly reduced. Residential photovoltaic power generation cost per unit cost decreased from 50 Yen to 30 yen (1.9 trillion yuan).

Although price subsidy policies for Japan energy, but the policy has been modified, and will continue to face challenges in the future. It is understood that Japan considers the original subsidy policy of the Government on the development of photovoltaic industry is too lenient and generous, and should be reducing subsidies. In 2012, the commercial photovoltaic power generation per kilowatt-hour 43.2 trillion yen subsidy this year, subsidies only 25.92 yen. In addition, the Japan Government also decided to allow utilities to reduce unprofitable, renewable power that is sent. Not long ago, the Japan Government, renewable energy development will issue a new policy plan.

Combining the above, past Japan set for PV incentive policies and incentives are almost zero. Experts predict that this weakness of subsidies would be detrimental to the Japan photovoltaic development investment. Meanwhile, other given high expectations of renewable energy, such as geothermal, small hydropower, wind power and other technologies in Japan’s development situation is still not optimistic, but their subsidies better than PV.

The mysterious “base load power”

In 2014, Japan Cabinet Government has approved a new amendment of the General plan. The plan once again to nuclear power and coal-fired power generation in Japan the energy structure of the assessment of the role and positioning, and that both are “important for base load power”, and that renewable energy will range over a very long period of time and gradually replacing other sources of energy. This plan also in Japan published by the energy supply and demand reflected in the report of the Vision 2015. Report, the Japan Government plans to add electricity demand by 2030 (from 2013), and published a set of power by 2030 than percentage: liquid natural gas 27%, coal accounted for 26%, oil 23%, nuclear power accounted for 21%, other renewables accounted for 3%.

Japan announced plans can be seen, by 2030, Japan’s dependency on fossil fuels is still very serious, almost Fukushima during the previous 10-year average. Nuclear power generation decreased from 27% to 21% per cent, almost all of the power loss was compensated by the increased renewable energy generation.

However, the rest of the 20%~22% nuclear power may still be some issues. Japan 35 GW of total installed nuclear power utilization reaches 70% to meet the targets set. Meanwhile, according to years of service life and maintenance of nuclear power plants for 40 years, if you want to meet energy targets by 2030, current capacity up to 40 gigawatts of nuclear power plants when the capacity needs to be reduced to less than 20 gigawatts. Even if no new nuclear power plants or extend plant life, nor meet the Japan Government’s goal. In addition, the Japan public opinion strongly against restarting nuclear power plants also cause great difficulties to achieve targets in the future.

Similarly, expand the scale of coal-fired power stations are also facing a number of challenges. Japan is one of the very few developed countries agreed to increase coal-fired power. Japan currently has 47 coal-burning power plants (total capacity of 22.5 GW) under construction, mostly after Fukushima plans to build. Experts, if completed in 47 towns and coal-fired power plant, it is easy to fill to reduce nuclear-power generating capacity, and would prevent the potential for renewable energy development. Japan Government to ignore the fuel will produce a series of effects, the full support of new coal-fired power plants, and believes that this is a “stable and reliable” baseload power.

How to keep Japan on energy transformation moving on the right track

In April, Japan full liberalization of electricity market, allows home users and small business users to choose their power company. This reform for the Japan electric power system in transition, is an important step.

But this step is not enough, ensure its correct direction is crucial at this time.

How to ensure Japan energy transformation moving on the right track? ‘ Some analysts believe, may have the following several ways: first, Japan must ensure that effective Internet access subsidies to encourage solar and other renewable energy industry development. At present Japan renewable energy market is still immature, has not reached only by means of market competition can stimulate the development of the stage.

Second, Japan needs to consider “base load power” is defined and renewable energies as a priority. Renewable energy priorities and scheduling ensures that its priorities and possibilities.

Third, requiring power companies to disclose when power generation fuel type, should be optional, rather than now “voluntary release”. By the way, you can ensure that customers select and support more sustainable resource-electricity.

Finally, the energy will become more and more flexible system and grid better integration is essential.

If the grid in case of not providing any compensation, unconditional renewable electricity cuts will lead to renewable energy investment market instability.

Finally, for the development of renewable sources of energy to develop a clear plan for the future is necessary. In order to complete the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, phasing out nuclear power and fossil fuels, 100% renewable energy generation, need to provide stakeholders with the right market signals to help them invest.

Original title: Japan energy in transition what?

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