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Japan sees increase in reliance on renewables and nuclear power

Japan has increased its reliance on renewables and nuclear power as it tries to achieve the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, the government’s report on energy supply and demand in fiscal 2021 showed Tuesday.

But carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels for electricity generation and other purposes rose 1.2% to 980 million tons from the previous year as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, marking the first emissions increase in eight years, according to the preliminary report by the industry ministry.

Renewables accounted for 20.3% of Japan’s electricity generation, up 0.5 percentage point from the previous year, while nuclear power accounted for 6.9%, up 3.0 points. The share of thermal power generation excluding biomass decreased 3.5 points to 72.9%, according to the report.

Japan has set a target for nuclear power generation to provide 20% to 22% of electricity and renewables 36% to 38% in fiscal 2030. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in August the government will take necessary measures to restart nuclear power plants.

“Based on the results in the report, we will continue our study of measures to secure a stable energy supply and promote ‘green transformation’ toward reaching carbon neutrality,” economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters.

According to the report, Japan’s electricity generation increased 3.2% from the previous year to over 1.03 trillion kilowatt hours, with the ratio of nonfossil fuel generation rising 3.5 points to 27.1%, in the year through March 2022.

Electricity consumption by companies and offices rose 5.5% while that of households dropped 6.2% as requests to stay home were discontinued amid the recovery from the pandemic.

The country’s energy self-sufficiency rate rose 2.1 percentage points from the previous year to 13.4% amid an expansion of renewable energy, according to the report.

Source: Japan Times