Energy Blue Print
Japan 2012

Moving from principles to action for energy supply that mitigates against climate change requires a long-term perspective. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop. Policy shifts often also need many years to take effect. In most world regions the transformation from fossil to renewable energies will require additional investment and higher supply costs over about twenty years

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1.4 japan: electricity generation beyond 2020

A dynamically growing renewable energy market will compensate for the phasing out of nuclear energy and reduce the number of fossil fuel-fired power plants required for grid stabilisation. By 2050, in the Energy [R]evolution scenario, 66% of the electricity produced in Japan will come from renewable energy sources. ‘New’ renewables – mainly wind, geothermal energy and PV – will contribute 42% of electricity generation.

The installed capacity of renewable energy technologies will grow from the current 24 GW to 215 GW in 2050, increasing renewable capacity by a factor of 9.

The Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario projects a faster market development with higher annual growth rates achieving a renewable electricity share of 57% by 2030 and 85% by 2050. The installed capacity of renewables will reach 218 GW in 2030 and 277 GW by 2050, 29% higher than in the basic version.

To achieve an economically attractive growth in renewable energy sources a balanced and timely mobilisation of all technologies is of great importance. Figure 1.5 shows the comparative of the different renewable technologies over time. Up to 2020 PV, wind and hydro will remain the main contributors of the growing market share. After 2020, the continuing growth of PV and wind will be complemented by electricity from geothermal. The Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario will lead to a higher share of fluctuating power generation source (photovoltaic, wind and ocean) of 29% by 2030, therefore the expansion of smart grids, demand side management (DSM) and storage capacity from the increased share of electric vehicles will be used for a better grid integration and power generation management.

None of these numbers - even in the Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario - utilise the maximum known technical potential of all the renewable resources. While the deployment rate compared to the technical potential (based on a 2009 study in commission of the Japanese Ministry of Environment) for geothermal power, for example, is relatively high at 87% in the advanced version, for wind less than 10% has been used.