Japan will begin reducing its traditional dependence on coal and shift towards renewable energy, industry minister Kajiyama Hiroshi said.
The policy announcement comes after reports that Japan will accelerate the closure of old, inefficient coal plants by 2030.
Yomiuri Shimbun has reported that approximately 100 of Japan’s existing 140 existing coal-fired generators are slated for closure, amid international criticism of Japan’s dependence on coal.
But Kajiyama has denied that the move was a major shift in energy policy, saying Japan will continue to rely on coal power and support the building of newer, more efficient plants.
“As a nation with scarce natural resources, we’ll consider the best mix [of power sources] that includes renewable energy, while improving efficiency [of coal-fired power generation],” said Kajiyama.
Japan currently depends on coal to generate 32 percent of its electricity, compared with just 17 percent generated by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
Under its Strategic Energy Plan released in 2018, Japan aims to reduce its dependence on coal to 26 percent by fiscal 2030, while boosting its reliance on renewable energy to 22 to 24 percent, and nuclear energy from 6 percent to 20 to 22 percent.