IEA urges Japan to decarbonise its energy supply

Japan should balance and diversify its energy mix through a combination of low carbon technologies. That’s the recommendation from the International Energy Agency (IEA) which added the country’s energy system […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Japan should balance and diversify its energy mix through a combination of low carbon technologies.

That’s the recommendation from the International Energy Agency (IEA) which added the country’s energy system should have more renewables, nuclear and efficient thermal power generation.

That would help Japan build a more secure, affordable, safe and decarbonised energy system, the IEA said in its latest review of Japan’s energy policies.

After the 2011 earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima accident, the country shut down its nuclear plants, which led to an increase in the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions.

It also brought electricity prices to unsustainable levels, according to the IEA.

The report also said additional infrastructure is needed in the electricity sector for a well-integrated national grid and the market should be designed to give strong signals to locate generation where it is most valuable to the whole system.

The IEA believes a fully independent transmission system operator should be established in the long term.

However, the report also highlights Japan’s long tradition of effective policies and measures related to energy efficiency and its commitment to innovation which makes it a leader in technology development.

IEA Deputy Executive Director Paul Simons said: “The traditional focus on security of supply has worked. The future challenge, however, is more about climate change. Japan should take concrete steps to meet its 2030 climate target and to cut emissions significantly more by 2050.”