Environmental NGOs request Tokyo Gas to switch to renewable from coal

Environmental NGOs request Tokyo Gas to switch to renewable from coal

The “e-shift”, civil network organization aiming at facilitating a nuclear power phase-out and promoting renewable energy policy, organized after the Great East Japan Earthquake followed by the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011, has started post card campaign against Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. to make them stop constructing new coal power plants.

Since April 2016, Tokyo Gas started retailing low voltage electricity. Its current electricity mix relies 100% on LNG thermal generation, but the Chiba Sodegaura Energy in which Tokyo Gas hold one third of its share is advancing a plan to construct 2 MW (2 units of 1MW) coal power plants in Sodegaura city, Chiba. Though the Minister of the Environment objected the plan as “not acceptable during the process of the environmental assessment, the utility doesn’t slow down its preparation for the construction with excuse that the electricity industry association sets a group goal for CO2 emission intensity to 0.37kg/kWh in 2030.

The “e-shift” opposes Tokyo Gas to enter coal business because;

  1. Coal-fired power plant will cause air pollution and therefore increase health risk.
  2.  Coal-fired power plant will emit a large amount of CO2 and that fact runs completely counter to measures tackling with climate change.
  3. Building additional coal-fired power plants may tie up with restarts of nuclear power plants as both are baseload electricity.

The “e-shift” requests Tokyo Gas to stop constructing new coal power plants and withdraw from the business, and to lead a conversion to a sustainable society with energy efficiency, cogeneration and renewable energy.

On May 12th, 2016, a few “e-shit” members visited the Environmental Department of Tokyo Gas, and exchanged views about environmental policies. The members also pleaded to Tokyo Gas to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy; however, the firm stance of company would be not easy to change.

To stop Tokyo Gas to build coal power plants, the “e-shit” is going to call for residents in Kanto area to join the postcard campaign and to be part of this action.