Evaluating Japan’s Long-term Energy Plan to 2030: Government Proposes Nuclear to Attain Energy Security

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Japan has recently finalized a long-term energy plan that increases nuclear power’s share of the electricity generation mix to 20–22% by 2030. The remainder comprises 22–24% from renewables, 27% from Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), 26% from coal, and 3% from oil. Known as 3E+S, it has the following policy objectives: energy security, economic efficiency, environmental conservation, and safety. It also aims to reduce dependence on imports.

Achieving Energy Self-Sufficiency

Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan shifted to fossil fuel to fulfill its energy demand. However, importing high-cost gas and oil increased expenditure by $270 billion in 2013 compared to 2010, pushing its already growing debt to $8.78 trillion as of March 2015.

With the new energy plan in place, dependence on fossil fuel imports is expected to decline, in turn reducing its share in electricity generation from the current 87% to 56% by 2030. It will also ensure 24% energy self-sufficiency, a significant increase from the current 6%.

According to the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ), which has conducted a scenario-based analysis, LNG imports in a zero-nuclear scenario will remain as high in 2030 as in 2013, but will fall from by 20% from 2013 in a 30% nuclear scenario.

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