Coal still plays a fundamental role in providing baseload electricity and acting as a critical building block for many economies.
In the first of our snapshot series exploring coal’s role in countries across the globe, we take a look at Japan – the third-largest economy in the world and home to more than 120 million people.
Key energy facts
- Given the size of its economy and advanced manufacturing sectors, Japan remains the world’s fifth-largest energy consumer.
- In 2017, fossil fuels made up 92% of the country’s energy demand.
- In 2017, coal was the second largest source of electricity accounting for 33% of total generation.
- Japan’s 2018 Basic Energy Plan recognises coal as an important, reliable and low-cost baseload power source.
- Japan has 20 GW of new coal-fired ultra-supercritical (USC) capacity already planned or under construction.
Low-carbon technology leadership
- As part of its climate pledge, Japan has committed to a 26%-reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.
- Japan has some of the most advanced power plants in the world. Unit 2 at J-POWER’s Isogo Thermal Power Station has a gross thermal efficiency of 45%.
- The Japanese government intends to support the deployment of high efficiency low emission (HELE) coal technologies overseas.
- Since 2008, the country has engaged in several activities to promote carbon capture use and storage (CCUS): 1) the large-scale Tomakomai demonstration project; 2) various R&D projects; 3) surveys for potential CO2 storage sites.
- The Basic Energy Plan promotes the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies including CCUS and IGCC to meet GHG national emissions targets.