Japan sets 60% target for renewable energy by 2030

Out-Law News | 29 Jul 2021 | 1:02 am | 1 min. read

Japan has set a target to increase non-fossil fuel energy including renewable and nuclear energy to 60% of total production by 2030, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's draft basic energy policy.

According to a local news agency, renewable energy will provide 36%-38% of electricity supply in 2030, doubling the 2019 target of 18%. The use of coal will be reduced from 26% to 19% under the plan. Solar, wind, geothermal, hydro and biomass will be 15%, 6%, 1%, 10% and 5% in 2030, up from 6.7%, 0.7%, 0.3%, 7.7% and 2.6% in 2019.

The target for nuclear power remains unchanged at 20%-22%. According to AP news, the nuclear energy target will be difficult to achieve due to the ongoing anti-nuclear sentiment among the public. 24 of Japan's 54 operational reactors have been set for retirement since the Fukushima disaster, and nine are now operational.

The new plan will be finalised in August and submitted to the public for comment. It will be presented to the United Nation's 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland in October after being approved by Japan’s cabinet.

John Yeap of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “As COP26 approaches, nations around the world are looking at their nationally determined contributions. It is not surprising some of the targets set previously may have to be revised. The anticipated largest percentage increase is in wind, reflecting no doubt the focus Japan has recently given to the potential of harnessing its offshore wind energy. Deep offshore waters will present engineering and cost challenges, but undoubtedly offshore wind will have an important role to play in delivering on Japan’s net zero commitments.”

In July, Japan’s cabinet approved budget request guidelines for 2022, setting aside ¥4.4 trillion yen ($40 billion) for policies such as carbon reduction under Japan’s green growth strategy.

The country aims to become carbon-neutral by 2050, the same time scale as has been adopted by the European Union (EU). In April it strengthened the 2030 emissions reduction target to cut emissions by 46% by 2030 from 2013.