【News】Reviewing Japan’s Strategic Energy Plan – An Opportunity to Review the Coal Policy
On October 13, 2020, the Japanese government began the review of the “Strategic Energy Plan.” This plan establishes the fundamental direction of the national energy policy based on the Basic Act on Energy Policy, and is reviewed once every three years.
The deliberations of this review are very important in determining the future of coal-fired power generation in Japan and whether the 2030 phase-out can be realized. This is because the current “5th Strategic Energy Plan” shows the power supply composition (the plan of how much electricity is generated and supplied, and from which sources) in 2030 – and now the council will reexamine this composition.
Since the purpose of this review is to move further toward the realization of a zero-carbon society, there is little doubt that discussions should be moving in the right direction: toward a lower proportion of coal-fired power generation and higher proportion of renewable energy than the current Plan’s targets of “coal-fired power ratio of 26%” and “renewable energy ratio 22-24%” in 2030. However, the issue is how quickly, and how ambitiously, this movement can progress. The following points must be given consideration:
- Can the Japanese government reassess its evaluation of coal-fired and nuclear power as “important base load power sources”?
- Can Japan reassess its dependency on coal-fired power and shift toward a coal phase-out? And can Japan aim for a 2030 coal exit?
- At the same time, can Japan also reevaluate the role of nuclear power and move toward abolishing nuclear power generation?
- Can Japan significantly increase the proportion of renewable energy in 2030 to 40-50%?
- And can Japan introduce or revise incentives and systems to realize these targets?
These important discussions – ones that will greatly impact and shape our future – will now begin in earnest. The discussion of this council will be recorded and can be viewed live or afterward, so please see for yourself how these discussions are progressing:
Documents from the First Session of the Review of “Strategic Energy Plan” – Basic Policy Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy (Dated October 13th): https://www.enecho.meti.go.jp/committee/council/basic_policy_subcommittee/032/