03 July 2018

A new basic energy plan that sets goals for Japan’s energy mix to 2030 and presents scenarios to 2050 was today approved by the Cabinet. Under the plan, nuclear will remain a key energy source, accounting for 20-22% of the country’s electricity generation up to 2030.

The Japanese government revises its energy plan about every three years. The plan is formulated based on the Basic Energy Policy Law enacted in June 2002. The latest plan, like its predecessors, recognises the necessity of energy security for the country, which is poor in fossil fuel resources. The policy includes commitments to „clean energy“ initiatives but places emphasis on ensuring stable and secure energy supplies.

Consideration of the latest plan began at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s (METI’s) Basic Policy Subcommittee of the General Resource and Energy Research Committee last August. METI presented a draft of the plan on 16 May. The plan was today approved by the Cabinet, taking into account public comments received on the draft.

The Fifth Basic Energy Plan calls for nuclear energy to account for 20%-22% of power generation by 2030, with 22%-24% coming from renewable energy sources, while coal’s share will be reduced to 26%, LNG’s to 27% and oil’s to just 3%. The plans aims to reduce Japan’s carbon dioxide emissions by 26% by 2030, compared with 2013 levels, and by 80% by 2050. It also aims to raise the country’s energy self-sufficiency to about 24% by 2030, compared with just 8% in 2016.

The plan says that in 2030 nuclear energy will continue to be „an important baseload power source that contributes to the stability of the long-term energy supply and demand structure“. In the longer term, to 2050, nuclear will remain a „viable choice for decarbonisation“.

Whilst saying that Japan’s dependence on nuclear energy will be „reduced as much as possible“, the plan says the nuclear target will be met through the restart of reactors and with „constant safety improvement“.

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