“We cannot wait another five or 10 years”

Yoshinobu Kusano, executive advisor & director of Renova’s biomass fuel department, shares his thoughts on plans to phase down coal.

“Coal is being phased down.” This was the message from COP26 in Glasgow. The Japanese Government, together with other participants at the conference, pledged this official commitment to the world. To hold this commitment, biomass will need to play a much more important role than before, as the fuel can directly substitute coal.

With biomass, we can change a coal facility into a renewable facility overnight. Biomass can provide baseload electricity while other renewables such as solar and wind cannot. This is why biomass is essential.

Japan, unlike the EU and the UK, still relies heavily on coal for energy. The power industry, which once relied on nuclear power for 40% of energy, suddenly lost its dependence as a result of the Fukushima disaster in 2011. Since then, fossil fuels such as coal and gas have been supporting the Japanese power industry.

In its Energy Mix 2030 plans, the government said it will still rely on nuclear for 20-22% of total...

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