Japan's Low-Cost Net Zero Path: Wind & Solar, EVs

Jul 25, 2023 08:49 PM ET
  • BloombergNEF report suggests Japan can reduce emissions and import costs by transitioning to mature clean energy technologies. Investing in wind, solar and electric vehicles, as well as in $489.3B grid infrastructure, could help Japan reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and improve energy security.

A new report from BloombergNEF shows that the cheapest way for Japan to achieve its 2030 emissions reduction and mid-century net-zero goals is to rely on mature clean technologies such as wind, solar and electric vehicles, rather than on hydrogen and carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCUS) technologies. The analysis stands in contrast to the government's current transition pathway. Japan's current emissions reduction trajectory is further from what's needed to reach net-zero by 2050 than any of its G7 counterparts.

The report suggests that Japan could reduce emissions and increase energy security by redirecting some of its $1.8 trillion fossil fuel import expenditure over 2010-2022 towards clean energy technologies. It also calls for increased grid investment, including interregional transmission lines, to make it easier to connect demand centers to renewable energy sources. According to BNEF, Japan needs $489.3 billion in grid investment between 2022 and 2050 to fully integrate enough wind, solar and batteries to decarbonize its power generation sector. The government's estimate for interregional transmission grid investment is much lower, at between $27 billion and $40.5 billion.

What Clean Technologies Should Japan Rely on to Reach Net-Zero?

  • Relying on mature technologies such as wind, solar, and EVs instead of hydrogen and CCUS would be the cheapest way to achieve Japan's 2030 emissions reduction and mid-century net-zero goals
  • Redirecting some of the $1.8 trillion fossil fuel import expenditure over 2010-2022 towards clean energy technologies could reduce emissions and increase energy security
  • Increased grid investment including interregional transmission lines to make it easier to connect demand centers to renewable energy sources
  • Requiring $489.3 billion in grid investment between 2022 and 2050 to fully integrate enough wind, solar, and batteries to decarbonize its power generation sector
  • The government's estimate for interregional transmission grid investment is much lower, at between $27 billion and $40.5 billion
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Source:
bloomberg.com

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