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Japan steps up effort to lower floating wind power cost

  • : Electricity
  • 24/06/14

Japan is stepping up efforts to lower overall costs for offshore floating wind power generation, which can play a key role in boosting the country's renewable energy supplies.

Japan's trade and industry ministry Meti and state-owned research institute Nedo said on 11 June that they have decided to support two pilot projects that will seek to bring down the overall costs for offshore floating wind power generation. Nedo plans to provide around ¥85bn ($539.8mn) from its green innovation fund over seven fiscal years from April 2024 to 31 March 2031.

A consortium of nine Japanese companies led by Marubeni Offshore Wind Development, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese trading house Marubeni, has won a public tender to set up a project around 25km offshore south of Akita prefecture. The consortium plans to install two floating wind power facilities with capacity of over 15MW, targeting for operations to begin around autumn of 2029.

Another consortium of five Japanese firms led by engineering firm C-Tech, a group company of utility Chubu Electric Power, is planning to build a floating power generator with over 15MW of capacity offshore Aichi prefecture.

The projects assume relatively large capacity deployments of more than 10MW and aim to establish commercial technology for offshore wind to become globally competitive cost-wise by 2030. The project winners should set a cost target, referencing the US' cost target of $0.045/kWh by 2035, according to the government's wind power auction guidelines.

This cost reduction is needed to accelerate a rollout of floating wind power facilities and help Japan achieve its 2050 net zero emission goal.

Japan's purchase cost for electricity generated by offshore floating power facilities is set at ¥36/kWh for the April 2024-March 2025 fiscal year under the country's feed-in-tariff and feed-in-premium schemes. This can be compared with the lowest contract price of ¥3/kWh for bottom-fixed offshore wind projects in the latest public auction in December 2023, with the auction having secured a total of around 1.8GW bottom-fixed offshore wind capacity.

Japan is aiming to install 23.6GW of wind power capacity by 2030, including 5.7GW offshore and 17.9GW onshore. It is eyeing the development of offshore wind farms, especially by promoting floating technology, given the country's geographical constraints. Tokyo aims to have offshore wind projects of 10GW by 2030 and 30-45GW by 2040.

Tokyo has agreed to new legislation that will allow wind power facilities to be built in its exclusive economic zone, beyond its territorial and internal waters regulated under current laws, while striving to protect the marine environment. It is aiming to pass the amended legislation in an ordinary parliament session that will end on 23 June.

Japan is under pressure to boost renewable power capacity to spur decarbonisation because the future of its nuclear industry is still unclear. But rising intermittent output from renewables will also prompt the country's power producers to secure sufficient thermal power capacity, including gas and coal, to help adjust power imbalances. Tokyo aims to generate 41pc of its electricity from thermal fuels in the April 2030-March 2031 fiscal year, which is higher than 36-38pc for renewables, under its current basic energy policy, which is due for a review this year.


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24/07/18

EU’s von der Leyen re-elected as Commission president

EU’s von der Leyen re-elected as Commission president

Brussels, 18 July (Argus) — The European Parliament today approved Ursula von der Leyen's re-election as president of the European Commission. Nominated by EU states in June, von der Leyen received 401 votes, by secret ballot, from parliament's 720 newly elected members. Von der Leyen called for continuing climate and energy policy in her 2024-29 mandate to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) cuts of at least 90pc by 2040 from 1990 levels. "I have not forgotten how [Russian president Vladimir] Putin blackmailed us by cutting us off from Russian fossil fuels. We invested massively in homegrown cheap renewables. And this enabled us to break free from dirty Russian fossil fuels," said von der Leyen, promising to end the "era of dependency on Russian fossil fuels". She did not give an end date for this, nor did she specify if this includes a commitment to end Russian LNG imports. Von der Leyen went on to detail political guidelines for 2024-29. In the first 100 days of her new mandate, she pledged to propose a "clean industrial deal", albeit without giving concrete figures about how much investment this would channel to infrastructure and industry, particularly for energy-intensive sectors. The clean industrial deal will help bring down energy bills, she said. Von der Leyen told parliament the commission would propose legislation, under the European Climate Law, establishing a 90pc emission-reduction target for 2040. Her political guidelines also call for scaling up and prioritising clean-tech investment, including in grid infrastructure, storage capacity, transport infrastructure for captured CO2, energy efficiency, power digitalization, and deployment of a hydrogen network. She will also extend aggregate demand mechanisms beyond gas to include hydrogen and critical raw materials. Her political guidelines note the dangers of dependencies or fraying supply chains, from Putin's "energy blackmail" or China's monopoly on battery and chip raw materials. Majority report Passing the necessary legislation to implement her stated policies will now require approval from EU states and from parliament. Unless amplified by Germany's election next year, election victories by far-right parties in France and elsewhere appear not to threaten EU state majorities for specific legislation. Parliament's political centre-left S&D and liberal Renew groups, as well as von der Leyen's own centre-right EPP, have elaborated key policy requests . These broadly call for the continuation of von der Leyen's Green Deal, the set of legislation and policy measures aimed at 55pc GHG emission reduction by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. A symbolic issue for von der Leyen to decide, or compromise on, is the internal combustion engine (ICE). Her EPP group wants to stick to technological neutrality and to revise the phase-out, by 2035, of new ICE cars if they cannot run exclusively on carbon-neutral fuels. The EPP wants an EU e-fuel, biofuel, and low-carbon fuel strategy. Von der Leyen's guidelines reflect the need to gain support from centre-right, centre-left, and greens. For the ICE phase-out, she said the 2035 climate neutrality target for new cars creates investor and manufacturer "predictability" but requires a "technology-neutral approach, in which e-fuels have a role to play." She made no mention of carbon-neutral biofuels. It will be impossible for von der Leyen to satisfy all demands in her second mandate. That includes policy asks put forward by the EPP, ranging from a "pragmatic" definition of low-carbon hydrogen, market rules for carbon capture and storage, postponing the EU's deforestation regulation, to catering more for farmers, even by scrapping EU wildlife protection for wolves and bears. EU member states are expected to propose their candidates for commissioners in August, including those responsible for energy, climate, and trade policies. When parliament has held hearings for candidates in late October, von der Leyen's new commission would then be subject to a final vote. By Dafydd ab Iago Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

New Zealand, Australia carbon brokerage rivalry builds


24/07/17
24/07/17

New Zealand, Australia carbon brokerage rivalry builds

Sydney, 17 July (Argus) — Commodities broker Marex announced today it opened an office in New Zealand and launched a new carbon trading platform for local emissions units, days after New Zealand competitor Jarden rolled out its own trading platform in Australia. Marex will initially focus on execution and clearing services across carbon, electricity and dairy sectors in New Zealand, in both listed and over-the-counter products. Its New Zealand-based and global clients will also be able to trade New Zealand emissions units (NZUs) in a newly launched platform called Neon Carbon. New Zealand clients will have access to clearing directly through Marex on the Singapore Exchange and Australian Securities Exchange, with the latter planning to soon launch physically settled futures contracts for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) and NZUs . The new Marex team will be led by Nigel Brunel, formerly Jarden's head of commodities in New Zealand. Jarden is considered to have the biggest share of the brokered NZU market through its CommTrade spot trading platform, followed by domestic trading platforms CarbonMatch and emsTradepoint, which is operated by state-owned electricity transmission system operator Transpower New Zealand's Energy Market Services. CommTrade expansion Marex has hired several other former Jarden brokers in recent months in New Zealand and Australia, as it looks to expand its environmental products business across Asia-Pacific . But the increasing brokerage competition in Australia with growing trading volumes for ACCUs in recent years prompted Jarden to roll out CommTrade in the Australian market. Jarden's clients in Australia had until now only a price display mechanism for ACCUs. But they are now able to directly input bids and offers through CommTrade, with real-time matching capabilities displayed on screen. "Transactions remain anonymous until matched, after which clients receive a contract note from Jarden detailing settlement terms," Jarden announced late last week. All transactions are settled directly through the company, with clients also able to trade other products such as LGCs. Marex told Argus it would not be able to share any product details on Neon Carbon at this stage. UK-based broker Icap entered the New Zealand carbon trading market earlier this year with the acquisition of domestic brokerage firm Aotearoa Energy, while several other brokers have entered the ACCU market in recent years. By Juan Weik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Australia’s Snowy, Lochard ink Iona gas storage deal


24/07/15
24/07/15

Australia’s Snowy, Lochard ink Iona gas storage deal

Sydney, 15 July (Argus) — Australian state-owned utility Snowy Hydro has signed a 25-year deal to store gas at the country's largest domestic gas storage in Victoria state to support its gas-fired power stations. The agreement with the 26PJ (694mn m³) Iona site, owned by domestic gas storage firm Lochard Energy, will commence in January 2028. This will be ahead of the permanent closure of the 1,480MW Yallourn brown coal plant, operated by Hong Kong-owned utility EnergyAustralia, in mid-2028. "The gas storage agreement with Lochard Energy will support the operation of our gas-fired power stations in Victoria," Snowy Hydro chief executive Dennis Barnes said on 15 July. Snowy Hydro, which owns and operates three gas-fired power stations totalling 1,290MW at present, is building the 750MW Kurri Kurri gas-fired plant , of which the initial 660MW stage is scheduled to come on line in late 2024. Snowy's 320MW Laverton North and 300MW Valley Power generators are located in Victoria. The deal is expected to underwrite the Heytesbury underground gas storage project , Lochard's chief executive Tim Jessen said, which will expand the capacity of Iona by approximately 3PJ. Australia's southeastern states are expected to face significant shortfalls of gas later this decade as fields supplying Victoria's 1,150 TJ/d (30.7mn m³/d) Longford gas plant deplete. A mixture of pipeline expansions to bring more gas south from Queensland state, LNG import terminals, and reducing demand have been floated to bridge this gap. Two LNG import terminals are proposed for Victoria but both require environmental approvals from the state government. Snowy Hydro is facing significant pressure from the federal government over its delayed Snowy 2.0 pumped hydroelectric project, which has suffered significant cost overruns and delays. Snowy last year said the scheme's costs had doubled to A$12bn ($8.1bn) from a previous A$5.9bn estimate , which was itself higher than the original guidance. By Tom Major Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan’s Erex cuts biomass-fired power output in June


24/07/15
24/07/15

Japan’s Erex cuts biomass-fired power output in June

Tokyo, 15 July (Argus) — Japanese renewable electricity producer Erex reduced its biomass-fired power generation output in June compared with a year earlier, according to the company data. Erex's combined biomass-fired output across the 50MW Saiki, the 75MW Buzen, and the 49MW Nakagusuku power plant in June fell by 8.5pc from a year earlier to 108GWh. The company does not publish output data for its 75MW Ofunato plant, while the 20MW Tosa plant has been under periodic maintenances since March. Erex operates a total of 269MW of biomass capacity in Japan, including Ofunato, burning mainly imported wood pellets and palm kernel shells. The company aims to start coal and biomass co-firing generation at the 149MW Itoigawa plant that has only consumed coal so far. The company plans to start operations at two more biomass plants, the 75MW Sakaide Hayashida in 2025 and the 300MW Niigata Mega Bio around 2029-2030. Erex is also accelerating biomass projects in southeast Asia, aiming to build up to 19 generation plants in Vietnam and five in Cambodia that will burn mainly wood residue and chips, in addition to several wood pellet plants in both countries. By Takeshi Maeda Erex's biomass generation in June 2024 Capacity(MW) Generations(GWh) Start of Operations Tosa 20.0 0.0 Jun-13 Saiki 50.0 31.0 Nov-16 Buzen 75.0 46.0 Jan-20 Nakagusuku 49.0 31.0 Jul-21 Ofunato 75.0 - Jan-20 Total 269.0 108.0 Source: Erex Erex biomass generation (MWh) Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan’s Shikoku to shut Ikata reactor for maintenance


24/07/12
24/07/12

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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