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Renewables Could Make Japan Energy Independent by 2060

Japan could be energy independent by 2060 if it manages to install enough solar and wind power generation plus battery storage, Jarand Rystad, CEO of consultancy Rystad Energy, has told Reuters.

“Japan's mindset is that we have to import energy because we have no energy ourselves. But with the development in renewable energy technologies, I think that statement doesn't need to be true,” the head of the firm told Reuters.

Japan could become energy independent by 2060 with 45% of energy coming from solar, 30% from wind, especially offshore wind, 5% from hydrogen, 5% of biomass and e-fuel, and nuclear power providing the remaining 15%, according to Rystad.

Last month, Japan launched the most important energy policy discussions in its post-World War Two history, aiming to strike a balance between the need to boost its energy security with conventional sources and its pledge to become a net-zero economy by 2050.

The industry ministry of one of the world’s most industrialized nations, which imports nearly all the commodities it consumes, launched formal discussions about its future energy policy.

Amid the energy crisis in 2022, which led to record-high natural gas prices, Japan pivoted back to nuclear energy, aiming to boost its energy security with domestic energy production. 

But the country still imports all the oil and natural gas it consumes, and it is the world’s second-largest LNG importer after China, having held the top spot before 2022.

At present, fossil fuels account for about 70% of Japan’s electricity, which would clash with its net-zero goal.

Japan is estimated to be the country with the world’s fifth-largest carbon footprint, preceded only by China, the United States, India, and Russia.

Currently, Japan is bringing back nuclear power as a key energy source, looking to protect its energy security in the wake of the energy crisis that led to surging fossil fuel prices. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on June 14 2024 said:
    This is one of the most outlandish and unrealistic projections by Rystad Energy. Japan will never become energy independent by 2060 or 2100 or ever.

    The Achilles' heel of the projection is the intermittent nature of solar and wind energy along with solving the energy storage issue.

    So Japan could say bye bye to energy independence.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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