On Feb. 16, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Japan announced its trial calculation of how much Japan would save if it exclusively used renewable energy by 2050. Japan’s using 100% renewables – which means no coal, oil, or other fossil fuel – would result in a savings of 84 trillion yen thanks to savings in fuel costs among others, even after the investment of necessary facility costs, WWF Japan estimates. The environmental group says that achieving a net zero-carbon economy as envisioned in the Paris Agreement is feasible.
According to the trial calculation, a total of 365 trillion yen in facility costs will be required over the 40-year period from 2010 to 2050, including 191 trillion yen for energy conservation measures for the industrial and household sectors and 174 trillion yen for the introduction of renewables like solar power. The reduction of fossil fuel consumption will result in a saving of 449 trillion yen. Moreover, greenhouse gas emissions can be cut 95% compared to 2010 levels.
If technologies available today are disseminated widely, energy demand can be decreased by 47% compared to 2010 levels, it is estimated. All electricity will be supplied using renewable energy. According to domestic meteorological data, the ideal power generation ratio between solar and wind power is two to one. It is estimated that Japan will be able to produce hydrogen from around 2030 using electricity left over from power generation using renewables.
Under the Paris Agreement which went into force last year, all parties should strive to submit a long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategy to the United Nations. The Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are each preparing a draft. WWF Japan is urging the Japanese government to formulate the nation’s long-term strategy as soon as possible.