On March 1, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) released “The 2035 Japan Report: Plummeting costs of solar, wind and batteries can accelerate Japan’s clean and independent electricity future”, and Climate Integrate simultaneously released its report “Decarbonizing Japan’s Electricity System: Policy Change to Trigger a Shift”.
Using the latest models, Berkeley Lab examines the feasibility of a shift to renewable energy in the electricity sector in Japan, concluding that Japan can raise its share of renewable energy, mainly solar and wind, to 70% by 2035.
Climate Integrate’s report recommends policy changes essential to achieving the decarbonization of Japan’s power sector as indicated in Berkeley Lab’s “Clean Energy Scenario”, a scenario to achieve a 90% clean electricity share by 2035.
Following are summaries of each report:
Berkeley Lab’s “The 2035 Japan Report: Plummeting costs of solar, wind and batteries can accelerate Japan’s clean and independent electricity future”
In this report, Berkeley Lab examines the feasibility and reliability of a core scenario (the Clean Energy Scenario) in which Japan achieves its 2030 Basic Energy Plan, as well as reaching 90% clean energy by 2035. The results show that a 90% clean electricity share by 2035 is possible and highly economical while ensuring reliability. The report also states that by significantly increasing the share of renewable energy and electrifying other sectors with clean energy, Japan can accelerate its efforts toward carbon neutrality and advance its climate change initiatives.
Under the Clean Energy Scenario, it is possible that Japan can shut down existing coal power plants, increase renewable energy to 70%, with nuclear power making up 20% and LNG-fired power plants 10% – all without keeping coal-fired power plants or building new LNG-fired power plants. The report states that strong policies such as medium-term policy targets beyond 2030 and corresponding renewable deployment goals are required in order to realize the scenario and significant economic, environmental and energy security benefits.
- It is possible for Japan to build a 90% clean and reliable power grid system by 2035 without coal power generation or new LNG plants.
- Clean energy can cut electricity sector CO2 emissions by 92%.
- The cost of a clean energy system (solar, wind [especially offshore] and battery technology) will continue to decrease.
- 90% clean energy deployment can reduce wholesale electricity costs by 6%, fossil fuel (LNG and coal) import costs by 85%, and eliminate dependencies almost completely. This will greatly bolster Japan’s energy security.
- Reaching cost-effective levels of clean energy generation will require overcoming policy, market, and land-use barriers.
Prior to this Japan Report, the Berkeley Lab published similar reports for the United States, India, and China, which are used by policymakers in those countries.
Climate Integrate’s “Decarbonizing Japan’s Electricity System: Policy Changes to Trigger the Shift”
Climate Integrate makes policy recommendations, three components of a “national vision” and seven sets of “policy measures”, on what would be needed to realize the shift to renewable energy as outlined in Berkeley Lab’s Clean Energy Scenario.
1. A grand design centered on shift to renewables
2. Ambitious targets and policy review
3. National strategies for a just transition
1. Making carbon pricing more effective
2. Expanding renewable energy in ways that benefit communities
3. Enhancing flexibility in Japan’s power system
4. Redesigning power markets to encourage fair competition
5. Boosting offshore wind development
6. Improving energy efficiency
7. Using fiscal measures to support the energy shift
Download the Reports:
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “The 2035 Japan Report” [Full Report (English) ・ Japanese Summary]
- Climate Integrate: “Decarbonizing Japan’s Electricity System: Policy Changes to Trigger the Shift” [English ・ Japanese]
Written/Published by: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory/Climate Integrate
Published: March 1, 2023