Latest Policy News

Final energy consumption in FY2017 increased due to severe cold weather

Final energy consumption in FY2017 increased due to severe cold weather Forthefirsttime increase since the Great East Japan Earthquake

 

On April 12th, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy announced the energy supply and demand results (confirmed report) in FY2017. Final energy consumption increased by 0.9% from the previous year to 13,453 petajoules, and increased for the first time since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. It was caused by the severe winter affecting great increase of energy consumption in the household sector. Energy-derived CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions decreased by 1.6% to 1,111 million tons which declined for the four consecutive years.

For final energy consumption by sector, industry sector (including non-residence buildings) increased by 0.8% to 8,365 petajoules, household sector increased by 4.2% to 1,989 petajoules, transportation sector decreased by 0.8% to 3,099 petajoules. Industry sector (including non-residence buildings) increased for the first time in four years backed by vigorous economic activities. For energy sources, electricity increased by1.5% to 3,470 petajoules. City gas also increased by 5.0% sharply to 1,104 petajoules.

Energy conservation standard for lighting ― LED to be newly added in FY2020 as a target

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) have established new energy conservation standards for lighting equipment and lighting bulbs. Its ministerial ordinance and notification were enforced on April 15th.

ANRE set standards and target year, etc. to be achieved under the Energy Conservation Law in consideration of the technological trends and the Top Runner performance of the products that have been merchandised. It also determined the display items such as energy efficiency. The transitional measure was prepared for its revision of the display items. 

So far, the energy conservation standard for lighting fixtures has been limited to fluorescent fixtures only, but this time, LED fixtures were newly added and the new standard with the target year of FY2020 was established.

Formerly, energy efficiency indicated “brightness of light source of lighting equipment (total luminous flux) per power consumption (kWh), but it was revised to “brightness of lighting equipment (total luminous flux of lighting equipment) per power consumption(kWh).

On the other hand, the energy conservation standard for light bulbs has been limited to fluorescent lamps and LED lamps, but this time incandescent bulbs were added and the new standard with the target year of FY2027 was established. As with the old standard, energy efficiency was determined by the brightness of the light source of the lamp per power consumption (kWh). A one-year transition period was set for the revision of display items and current display items will be allowed to use until the end of March 2020.

Collaborative organization to be formed for the utilization of distributed energy systems

Collaborative organization to be formed for the utilization of distributed energy systems Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Ministry of Environment to launch a collaboration team

 

On April 12th, METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) and MOE (Ministry of Environment ) announced the launch of collaboration team. The purpose of this team is to study the policy which is effective to both the formation of ‘Regional circulation symbiosis area’ that maximizes the use of regional resources in sustainable manner, and distributed energy systems.

Toward the goal to make renewable energy to be a main power supply, this team will study cost reduction and dissemination measures for solar power generation and wind power generation based on the local conditions. It will also focuse on efficiency of the environmental impact assessment and bring together the knowledge of both ministries to accelerate the efforts such as joint demonstrations.

The joint team leader is Mr. Yasuhiro Matsuyama of METI, Director General, Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, and Mr. Atsuya Wada of MOE, Chief Deputy for policymaking, Cabinet Secretariat. The results of the review are expected to be reflected in the measures of both ministries in the future, including budget requests and tax system reform requests. It also will focus on the supply and use of hydrogen and identify solutions for dissemination measures in the region. Measures to promote ZEB (Zero Energy Building), ZEH (Zero Energy House), and demand side measures for decarbonization are also taken. In the future, relevant ministries will be in cooperation if necessary.

 

Calculation of greenhouse gas conforms to the international standards

Calculation of greenhouse gas conforms to the international standards J-Credit and Green Power Certificates and Non-fossil Energy Certificates can be applied for the international initiatives

 

On March 12th , The METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) summarized the draft guidance to comply with the method to calculate the GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions which is taking root as standard in private sectors overseas. Given the growing impact of international initiatives such as RE100, which aims to replace all the electricity to be used with renewable energy, this guidance arranges not only the method to calculate GHG emissions but also the information for the procurement and recognition of the value for renewable energy, and leads domestic companies efforts to be evaluated properly and contributes to expansion of the related investments.

On the same day, secretariat presented the draft guidance at the Research Group Meeting on Response to the International Climate Change Initiative by Japanese Companies: Chairperson: Kenji Yamaji, Director / Head of Research Division, the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth” In addition to RE100, in international initiatives such as CDP which discloses and evaluates company’s environmental information and provides investors with the outcomes and SBT (Science Based Target )which is cooperate version 2 target, this guideline recommends application of the standard called “GHG protocol” for calculating the GHG in order to compare and evaluate the companies side by side.

On the other hand, in Japan, the companies calculate and report the GHG emissions based on “ Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures, and the purposes of the two systems differs from each other. A guidance is prepared in order to clarify the differences of the two systems, secure the credibility of the reports prepared by Japanese companies and transmit accurately the value of RE-related certificates to overseas investors etc.

The guidance explains the method of calculating the GHG emissions generated by electricity corresponding to the GHG protocol. It also defines J-Credit, Green Power Certificates and Non-fossil Energy Certificates as “the Certificate”, and specifies that they should be applicable for the international initiatives. It also shows preventative measures not to double-assert the value of the certificate considered in case of creating or transferring each certificate.

 

Agency for Natural Resources and Energy estimates mid-term evaluation results on non-fossil energy targets

Agency for Natural Resources and Energy estimates mid-term evaluation results on non-fossil energy targets―Further study on the special measures to reduce the target value of companies with low non-fossil energy ratio

 

On March 19th, METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE), summarized the simulation results on mid-term evaluation on the target to raise the ratio of the non-fossil energy procured by electricity retailers to 44%.
Examining how it affects to the purchase amount of non-fossil energy certificates when the special measures are taken for the companies of low non-fossil energy procurement ratio. As a result, there was a difference in the amount of purchase depending on whether the baseline is determined in FY2017 or FY2018.

It was revealed at the system working group (Chairperson: Akihiko Yokoyama, Professor of Graduate School of the University of Tokyo) of advisory committee on Energy and Natural Resources(advisory body of METI) held at the same day.  At the time of setting the criteria for mid-term evaluation, it is planned to take special measures, which is grand fathering which lowers the target value of business operators operating at low non-fossil energy ratio.

In order to narrow the gap among the electricity retailers, it allows to obtain non-fossil energy certificates from the retail electricity supplier group through the in-house transactions, and if necessary, it allow to procure the certificates from the non-fossil energy value trading market and outside of the group.

ANRE set the base year to implement its special measures in FY2017 and FY2018, and assuming that the non-fossils energy ratio in the country has risen to 25%, analyzed the impact on the retail electricity suppliers to purchase the non-fossil certificates. The calculation results show that non-fossil certificates equivalent to 11.14% of own sales electric power in FY2017 and equivalent to 8.90% in FY2018 to be purchased from outside. ANRE proposed to set the base year as FY2018 whose data represents up-to-date situation of non-fossil energy. It is planned that the special measures will be reduced in two phases and the first phase will end in FY2022.

While the target of the Energy Supply Structure Upgrading Law is the retail electricity suppliers, power generation companies with the facilities producing non-FIT and non-fossil energy do not have the obligation to the law. For these companies, this system encourages them to implement the voluntary measures to promote utilization of the facilities to generate non-fossil energy by using the income obtained from the sales of non-fossil energy certificates and the explanations on the use of its income will be periodically asked.