The Cabinet of Japan’s government passed the sixth Strategic Energy Plan on October 22, which planned to increase the national target for renewable energy, including hydropower, in the country’s power mix to between 36% to 38% by 2030, as reported by Reuters on the same day. The previous target for 2030 was 22% to 24% with further plans to mainly rely on renewables in electricity generation by 2050. Moreover, this new target doubled the renewables level in the 2019 Japanese Fiscal Year (JFY2019) ended on March 31, 2020, showing the Japanese government’s great ambition in promoting renewables.
According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Japan 2021 Energy Policy Review, Japan ranked as the sixth highest of relying on fossil fuels among all IEA countries. In JFY2019, oil accounted for 38% of Japan’s total primary energy supply, followed by coal at 27% and natural gas at 23%. Only 18% of Japan’s total power supply was from renewable sources by the end of JFY2019, or March 2020, which was far from its energy goals. IEA also reported that solar power accounted for 1.6% and wind energy was 0.2% of the island country’s total energy supply.
Hence, Japan’s latest plan stated that the amount coming from thermal power sources will nearly halve to around 41% and emphasized the development of renewables, especially for solar energy, on-shore, and off-shore wind power. It will aim for 14-16% to come from solar, 5% from wind, 11% from hydropower, and 4% from nuclear. The updated energy plan also assisted in aligning to the government’s greener roadmap towards fulfilling its commitment of being carbon-neutral by 2050 and ensured the country a determined image to attend the upcoming COP26 climate conference.