Energy / Climate Change

August 8, 2011


MOE Reports Japan's Renewable Energy Potential Matches Nuclear Power

Keywords: Government Policy / Systems Renewable Energy 

Japan's Ministry of the Environment (MOE) released the results of a study on the introduction of renewable energies on April 21, 2011. MOE aims to improve the accuracy of the previous study released in March 2010 on the potential of renewable energies such as photovoltaic power (non-residential), wind power (onshore and offshore), small and medium-scale hydroelectric power, and geothermal power. Moreover, the Ministry estimates the possible economy of introducing of such energies by assuming specific scenarios of costs and return.

The results suggest an extremely large potential for wind power generation. Taking various limiting factors for energy utilization into consideration, the Introduction Potential of the wind power is 280 million kilowatts (kW) onshore and 1600 million kW offshore. The possible amount of power generation in the case of the Basic Scenario One (FIT* scenario), which assumes the purchase of the entire amount of energies generated at a fixed price (FIT), is 24 to 140 million kW onshore and 0 to 3 million kW offshore. The results are all shown in terms of the installed capacity (kW).
*Feed-in Tariff system

Assuming a usage of 24 percent of the installed capacity in FIT scenario, wind power, including both onshore and offshore, is able to generate approximately 50 to 290 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. This represents 18 to 104 percent of the 278.5 billion kWh generated by nuclear power stations in FY2009. Under the same assumption, the possible amount of power generation in the FIT scenario in the Tohoku Electric Power area, which has a 9.8 to 40 million kW capacity, can be translated to 21 to 83 billion kWh per year. This represents 26 to 105 percent of the 79 billion kWh consumed in FY2009 in the area. The Tohoku area can be the first to support 100 percent of its electricity demand by its own natural energies.

The Introduction Potential of the photovoltaic power (non-residential) is approximately 149 million kW, second behind that of the wind power. However, as the amount estimated is 0 kW (project unviable) in the FIT scenario, a lower cost through technological innovation is needed. The possible amount of power generation by small and medium-scale hydroelectric power in the FIT scenario is 6 to 17 billion kWh per year and 7 to 31 billion kWh by geothermal power, which is equivalent to 2 to 6, and 2 to 11 percent, respectively, of the amount generated by nuclear power stations.

Japan's Environment Ministry Releases Visions for 80% GHG Emissions Reduction (Related JFS article)
Small Hydropower Brings Possibility of Locally Generated Electricity for Local Consumption
The Spread of Solar Power Generation in Japan

Posted: 2011/08/08 06:00:15 AM

Japanese   Francais


Summary: Study of Potential for the Introduction of Renewable of Renewable Energy (FY 2010)