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Japan aims to boost government use of renewable power

  • Market: Coal, Electricity, Emissions, Natural gas
  • 10/12/20

The Japanese government is planning to boost use of electricity generated from renewable energy sources at ministries and state-owned facilities to 30pc in the April 2021-March 2022 fiscal year as a first step towards achieving the country's 2050 decarbonisation target.

Environment minister Shinjiro Koizumi and administrative reform minister Taro Kono said today the government will instruct all ministries and state bodies to ensure at least 30pc of their power use comes from renewable sources such as solar and wind, starting from 2021-22. Renewable power use at most ministries is currently estimated at below 10pc.

Renewable power made up 18pc of Japan's total power output in 2019-20, nearing Tokyo's target of boosting renewable power generation to 22-24pc of its 2030 total power output. Renewable power output increased by 5pc on the year to 185mn MWh in the last fiscal year, according to government data.

Tokyo has pledged to make renewable energy its primary power source by 2050. Thermal power generation, including coal, LNG and oil, made up 76pc of Japan's total power output in 2019-20. LNG and gas were the biggest power-generating sources in the same year, accounting for 37pc of total power output.

Increasing output and use of renewable power has led to a fall in Japan's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in recent years. The country's GHG emissions declined for a sixth consecutive year to a new low in 2019-20.


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12/07/24

Gas struggles hinder Brazilian industry: Study

Gas struggles hinder Brazilian industry: Study

Sao Paulo, 12 July (Argus) — A lack of natural gas supply is hindering 9pc of Brazil's industry, according to a study conducted by the country's industry confederation (CNI). According to CNI, 14pc of the Brazilian industry uses natural gas in its production processes, with 9pc reporting some sort of supply issue in the last 12 months. The study also showed that 10pc of industry have limited access to energy in general. Among those who do not use natural gas in the production process, 10pc point to the lack of access to energy as the main reason for choosing another energy source, 8pc blame the lack of distribution infrastructure, such as gas pipelines, and 5pc said prices are too high. The study provides some insight to the industry, but it may not paint the most accurate picture, given that gas usage is more intense in some specific sectors, CNI's energy policy and industry expert Rennaly Patricio Sousa said. Brazil's south holds the heaviest natural gas users in the country and its regional federations have been very active in advocating for a more competitive gas market. "The attraction of new investments to the south is related to the availability of gas," Santa Catarina state's industry federation president Glauco Jose Corte said on 10 July during an industrial forum. "Therefore, we need to discuss improvements in transport infrastructure, supply strategies, the entry of new players and the role of regulatory agencies." CNI's study makes it clear that low competition in the natural gas sector holds back both industry and consumers, making the Brazilian product more expensive and less competitive. Hence, lowering the price of natural gas is important to increase investments and revenues in sectors that are very dependent on it, such as the petrochemical industries, steel, ceramics, glass, aluminum and mining, the report said. The 2021 new gas law made room to reform the sector, but the market remains very concentrated, Sousa said. "So opening up the gas market is a good bet to help resume growth in the industry that consumes about 60pc of this energy." By Betina Moura Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Japan’s Shikoku to shut Ikata reactor for maintenance


12/07/24
News
12/07/24

Japan’s Shikoku to shut Ikata reactor for maintenance

Osaka, 12 July (Argus) — Japanese utility Shikoku Electric Power is planning to shut down the 890MW Ikata No.3 nuclear reactor on 19 July, to carry out regular maintenance works. The absence of Shikoku's sole reactor could prompt the utility to boost thermal power generation at coal-, gas- and oil-fired units to meet expected rises in electricity consumption for cooling purposes during the peak summer demand season. The Ikata No.3 reactor is set to close for a three-month turnaround, after around 13 months of continuous operations. Shikoku plans to start test generation in the final phase of the maintenance on 30 September and complete the entire turnaround process on 25 October. The potential fall in nuclear output could theoretically increase LNG demand by 170,270t over August-September, assuming an average gas-fired generation efficiency of 50pc. Shikoku operates four thermal power plants, including the 1,385MW Sakaide gas- and oil-fired plant, 750MW Saijo coal-fired plant, 700MW Tachibanawn coal-fired plant and 450MW Anan oil-fed plant. Thermal capacity accounts for around 60pc of the utility's power portfolio. By Motoko Hasegawa Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Australia's Climate Active program drives ACCU demand


12/07/24
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12/07/24

Australia's Climate Active program drives ACCU demand

Sydney, 12 July (Argus) — The Australian federal government-backed Climate Active certification program continued to drive voluntary demand for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) last year, although future growth remains uncertain as the scheme will undergo a planned reform. Cancellations of ACCUs for Climate Active certification reached 592,837 units in 2022, down from an all-time high of 625,705 in 2021, according to estimated data that the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) recently disclosed to Argus . Figures for 2023 are not yet available, according to the department, but cancellations may have reached a new high between 650,000-700,000 units, according to Argus estimates ( see table ). Each ACCU represents 1t of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) stored or avoided by a project. The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) said it does not have a dataset of ACCU cancellations for Climate Active certification, despite having disclosed figures in some of its quarterly carbon market reports in recent years. It mentioned late last year that the program accounted for around 0.5mn of a total 0.8mn cancelled for voluntary purposes in the first three quarters of 2023, and later reported total voluntary cancellations of 290,146 units in the fourth quarter alone. Voluntary cancellations reached nearly 1.1mn units in 2023 , a new record high. Certification under the Climate Active standards is awarded to businesses that measure, reduce and offset their carbon emissions to achieve carbon neutrality. More than 700 certifications have been provided to entities including large and small businesses, local governments, and non-profit organisations. But significant changes in climate science, business practices and international benchmarks since the program was established in 2010 prompted the federal Labor government to seek modifications aimed at driving a more ambitious voluntary climate action in Australia, following its separate reform of the compliance market's safeguard mechanism . The DCCEEW late last year launched a consultation with proposals to reform Climate Active, which would require more climate ambition from businesses seeking to be certified under the program. The use of carbon credits to offset emissions that have not been reduced by businesses would be tightened, with a requirement that all eligible international offset units meet a five-year rolling vintage rule, replacing the existing post-2012 vintage requirement. Other proposals include mandating a minimum level of gross emissions reductions and a minimum percentage of renewable electricity use. "The government is working through feedback on these proposals and will announce the consultation outcome later this year," a DCCEEW spokesperson told Argus . No expected changes in eligible offsets ACCUs have been representing a small share of the total offsets used for Climate Active certification at between 5.7-10.8pc in recent years, despite the estimated record high last year, according to DCCEEW estimates ( see table ). Organisations can currently use certified emissions reductions (CERs) and removal units (RMUs) under the program, as well as verified carbon units (VCUs) from the Verra registry and verified emissions reductions (VERs) from Gold Standard. The DCCEEW did not provide a breakdown of cancelled volumes per credit type. No minimum use of ACCUs and no changes to the list of eligible international units are expected in the near term, following advice from a review from Australia's Climate Change Authority (CCA) in 2022. But some market participants have been asking for the removal of CERs, which account for the "vast majority" of carbon offsets surrendered by Australian organisations, according to utility AGL. CERs are "outdated", utility Origin Energy said in its submission to the Climate Active consultation. "We consider it would be consistent with international carbon reduction mechanisms to introduce a clear end date to phase out the use of CERs from the program and ensure greater alignment with the more relevant Paris Agreement," Origin said. "This reform is considered an immediate priority, and of more urgent need than some of the other proposals in this consultation." Uncertainties over future demand More investor and activist pressure in recent years over the use of carbon offsets with perceived low levels of integrity have also been forcing companies to review not only their offset standards, but also claims of ‘carbon neutrality' and similar terms. One of the DCCEEW's proposals is to discontinue the use of ‘carbon neutral' to describe the certified claim and to choose a different description. "A lot of the voluntary demand for carbon offsets in Australia has traditionally come from Climate Active, but the landscape is indeed moving quickly and the concept of carbon neutrality is being replaced by net zero," said Guy Dickinson, chief executive of Australia-based carbon offset services provider BetaCarbon and head of carbon trading at sister company Clima. This should drive more price stratification between carbon removals and carbon avoidance credits, he noted. Telecommunications firm Telstra, one of the biggest companies in Australia, recently announced it will stop using carbon offsets to focus instead on reducing its direct emissions. It will no longer seek Climate Active certification as a result and will remove references that its plans are ‘carbon neutral' or ‘carbon offset'. This could prompt other businesses to follow suit, market participants said. Another source of uncertainty over future voluntary demand comes from a DCCEEWW proposal that abatement from all ACCUs used under Climate Active would count towards meeting Australia's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. The use of ACCUs under the program have so far been treated as ‘additional' to Australia's emissions reduction target through accounting under the Kyoto Protocol. If the government goes ahead with such a proposal, this could disincentivise participation in Climate Active as organisations might consider this as "paying to help the government meet its targets through the voluntary action of businesses," utility EnergyAustralia warned in its submission. There has been increased interest in emerging and alternate standards to those acceptable under Climate Active, such as the American Carbon Registry, Climate Action Reserve and Puro.Earth offsets, according to environmental marketplace Xpansiv's vice president of carbon and Australian energy, Peter Favretto. But Climate Active has reported positive growth in certified brands since its inception and will likely continue to create demand for offsets in the international voluntary market and the Australian ACCU market, he said. "With the upcoming mandatory climate reporting legislation in Australia , and a similar atmosphere in other global jurisdictions such as the US and the UK, there is a growing demand that could lead to further growth in Climate Active certifications," Favretto added. By Juan Weik ACCUs used for Climate Active certification units Year Volume Total voluntary ACCU use Climate Active % 2019 243,105 329,145 73.9 2020 417,405 605,499 68.9 2021 625,705 844,445 74.1 2022 592,837 855,081 69.3 2023 650,000-700,000* 1,090,575 60-64* DCCEEW, CER *Argus estimates Total offsets under Climate Active unit Year ACCUs Total offsets ACCUs % 2019 243,105 4,230,011 5.7 2020 417,405 6,857,628 6.1 2021 625,705 5,796,466 10.8 2022 592,837 7,472,711 7.9 DCCEEW Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Houston power outages creeping down toward 1mn


11/07/24
News
11/07/24

Houston power outages creeping down toward 1mn

Houston, 11 July (Argus) — Slightly more than 1mn Houston-area homes and businesses were without electricity Thursday afternoon as local power distribution company CenterPoint Energy continues to slowly restore service after Hurricane Beryl. The storm knocked out power to about 2.1mn customers on 8 July when it made landfall southwest of the city as a Category 1 hurricane. The pace of restoration of service to areas that include major oil refineries, petrochemical plants and an LNG export terminal has been seen by many in the region as far too slow. At 6:50mp ET on Thursday about 1.04mn customers were still without power, according to CenterPoint. The company estimates that about 1.2mn customers have had power restored so far, another 400,000 should be restored by the end of day Friday and another 350,000 by the end of day Sunday. The 2 Bcf/d (57mn m³/d) Freeport LNG terminal in Texas remained offline and without power on Thursday after it was shut down ahead of Beryl's landfall. The electric power sector accounts for about 45pc of Texas' gas use, and gas generates about 43pc of the state's electricity, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Spot gas prices at the Katy storage hub, a key natural gas market near Houston, averaged $1.715/mmBtu on Thursday, down by 7.2pc from the previous session but 5.2pc higher from the start of this week. The index began July at $1.97/mmBtu. By David Haydon Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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France submits final updated NECP


11/07/24
News
11/07/24

France submits final updated NECP

Paris, 11 July (Argus) — France this week submitted the final version of its national energy and climate plan (NECP) for 2021-30 to the European Commission, putting an emphasis on its low-carbon energy targets. According to the NECP, France aims to bring its installed onshore wind capacity to 33-35GW, while offshore wind capacity should reach 3.6GW by 2030. Those targets were unchanged from the previous version of the NECP. The French government has not communicated on the share of renewable sources in final energy consumption, despite the EU's renewable energy directive (RED III) setting a 42.5pc target. Instead, it set a "low-carbon share", including nuclear and renewable sources, which would stand at 58pc by 2030, members of energy minister Roland Lescure's cabinet told Argus . This comes as the French Senate's electricity commission in its report last week questioned the EU renewable targets and also advocated for low-carbon targets instead . The European commission earlier this year recommended that France should bring its renewable target to 44pc . In comparison, renewables represented 22.2pc of overall energy consumption in 2023. The final updated NECP was due by the end of June but the government failed to submit it on time because of the political context and the snap parliamentary elections, Lescure's cabinet said. By Tatiana Serova Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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