Policy / Systems / Technology

December 2, 2012


Japan Releases Strategy to Commercialize Biomass Use, Support Local Industry and Strengthen Distributed Energy Supply

Keywords: Government Policy / Systems Renewable Energy 

Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) announced on September 6, 2012, that along with six other ministries it has finalized the "Strategy for the Commercialization of Biomass." A set of guidelines is included for achieving the targets set out in the government's Basic Plan for the Promotion of Biomass Utilization, endorsed by the Cabinet in 2010 based on the Fundamental Law for the Promotion of Biomass Utilization, that aims to support the creation of an independent, distributed system of energy supply, especially crucial in the aftermath of the country's March 2011 earthquake and nuclear power plant accident.

The Basic Plan set targets to combat global warming by utilizing about 26 million tons (CO2 equivalent) of biomass by 2020, while at the same time seeing the growth of new biomass industries worth up to 500 billion yen (about U.S.$6.5 billion). The strategy includes the creation of a technical "road map" to identify key technologies and biomass resources and then produce a list of priorities ranging from raw material procurement to securing markets.

Also included is an estimate of annual energy potential from biomass by 2020: about 13 billion kilowatt-hours in available power (enough to power 2.8 million households), about 11.8 million kiloliters in available crude oil (enough gasoline for 13.2 million vehicles), and about 40.7 million tCO2 in reduced greenhouse gases (equivalent to about 3.2 percent of Japan's greenhouse gas emissions).

Related JFS article:
Japan's Biomass Market Estimated to Approach 257.9 Billion Yen in FY2015
Japanese Prefecture Aims to Use 81% of Available Biomass for Energy by FY2021