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18 May, 2018

Draft of Revised Strategic Energy Plan Aims for Firm Implementation of 2030 Energy Mix, Eyeing 2050 As Well

On May 16, the Strategic Policy Committee, under Japan’s Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy presented a draft of the revised Strategic Energy Plan for discussion. The committee is chaired by Masahiro Sakane, councilor of Komatsu Ltd.

Masahiro Sakane

The draft includes the goal of realizing an energy mix for Japan by 2030 based on the current plan issued in 2014, along with a long-term scenario toward 2050 reflecting global warming issues and the depletion of fossil-fuel resources. The nation’s composition of power sources in 2030 is set at 22-24% for renewable,20-22% for nuclear, 27% for LNG, 26% for coal, and 3% for oil.

The draft recognizes the importance of the energy mix in 2030, saying it is “an outlook of appropriate probability, based on the comprehensive consideration of existing infrastructure, technology and human resources.” Given, however, that significant time has already passed, it notes further that policies on individual energy sources will be probed deeply and strengthened with the aim of “certain implementation.”

Positioning nuclear power as “an important base-load power source contributing to the stability of the long-term energy supply-and-demand structure,” the draft clearly states that necessary measures will be steadily carried out to achieve nuclear power’s share of 20 to 22 percent in the 2030 energy mix.

Among the various policy commitments toward 2030, the draft includes the item of “rebuilding nuclear policy,” with details included for such activities as Fukushima reconstruction and restoration, sustainable safety improvements, the creation of stable business environments, and efforts to resolve back-end issues.

Toward 2050, the draft embraces an aggressive, omnidirectional approach—that is to say, pursuing all options—to achieving a so-called “energy shift” and realizing a low-carbon society, given that technological innovation, combined with political and social changes in the years to come, make it difficult to present an outlook with any certainty.

It also says that a scientific review mechanism will be created to map out scenarios. Many committee members called for the development of the mechanism as soon as possible, with cooperation with the international community.

After further revisions of the draft are made, based on discussions among the committee members at the meeting, a revised draft of the next Strategic Energy Plan will be made available to the public for comments. A final draft is expected this summer.

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