Tokyo, Aug. 3 (Jiji Press)–Solar power generation is projected to cost more than nuclear power in 2030 if the costs of reduced efficiency at supplementary thermal power plants are taken into account, an estimate by Japan’s industry ministry showed Tuesday.
The latest estimate comes after a July projection by the ministry found solar power to be the cheaper source of energy in 2030, contradicting the belief in the government and the electricity industry that nuclear power generates electricity most cheaply among energy sources.
The ministry’s recalculation, presented to a panel of experts the same day, adds expenses arising from the reduced use and lower efficiency of liquefied natural gas-fired thermal power generation to the solar power costs.
The LNG-fired power costs were included in solar power costs because renewable energy-based power generation is sensitive to climate conditions, requiring the supplementary use of thermal power generation for a sustainable supply of electricity.
As a result of the addition, the generating cost of solar power for business use is projected at 18.9 yen per kilowatt-hour in 2030, higher than 11.2 yen for LNG-fired thermal power and 14.4 yen for nuclear power.
The decrease in the cost-effectiveness of solar power is expected to impact the proliferation of the power generation method in Japan.
In the July estimate, the generating cost of solar power in 2030 stood below that of all other energy sources.
The ministry considers the latest estimates to be a reference.
“There is a need for discussions on reducing the costs and reallocating the burdens of the electricity system at large” as Japan engages in decarbonization efforts, a ministry official said.