Panel proposes keeping 2030 nuclear power ratio at 20%-22%

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — An industry ministry panel on Wednesday proposed maintaining an existing target of generating 20-22 percent of the country’s total electricity at nuclear plants in 2030.

A subgroup of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy made the proposal in a rough draft of the country’s basic energy plan to be revised by the government this summer.

But the subgroup stopped short of suggesting concrete measures seen indispensable for achieving the target, such as nuclear plant construction and expansion. It only said, “Necessary steps should be taken steadily.”

The basic plan, last revised in 2014, includes a policy of cutting the country’s dependence on nuclear energy as much as possible while increasing the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power.

In order to boost the use of renewable sources, however, many problems must be solved, including high costs.

In July 2015, the ministry set the government’s first energy mix goal, which envisions that nuclear power will account for 20-22 percent of all electricity generation and renewable energy for 22-24 percent in 2030. The draft presented by the subgroup keeps the numerical targets.

Regarding the ministry’s long-term energy strategy to 2050, the draft said that “all options will be pursued,” including nuclear power, in order to realize the country’s decarbonization.

It proposed increasing the use of hydrogen, considered promising as an alternative energy source.

The government intends to adopt the revised basic energy plan at a cabinet meeting between late June and early July this year. The plan, which sets the direction of energy policies over the medium to long term, is reviewed every three to four years.Speech

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