Wednesday, August 7, 2013

No. 142: Japanese plan to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide toward 2050 (August 8, 2013)

The Council for Science and Technology Policy laid down an environmental energy innovation plan to reduce Japan’s CO2 emissions by about 15% from the present level toward 2050 as Japan’s contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide to 50% by 2050. The new plan specified the seven major fields for the reduction and set a target value in each field.

Environment Energy Innovation Plan

Electric vehicle and plug-in-hybrid vehicle
Help the world reduce CO2 emissions by 1.7 billion tons by decreasing the battery cost
Innovative structural materials
Help the world reduce CO2 emissions by 4.7 billion tons by reducing the weight of a vehicle
Artificial photosynthesis
Increase the conversion efficiency of photocatalyst to 10% by 2021
Wind generation
Help the world reduce CO2 emissions by 3.0 billion tons through the practical use of floating offshore wind generation
Utilization of ocean energy
Reduce the generation cost of tidal power and wave power to less than 20 yen/kW
Geothermal generation
Help the world reduce CO2 emissions by 500 million tons by spreading generation that utilizes low-temperature hot water

The plan will formally be approved at the end of August and submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations this September and COP19 this November. Japan reviewed the plan for the first time since 2008. The roadmap of the new plan covers 37 fields including the above six fields.

In the innovative structural materials, Japan plans to increase the strength and ductility of steel, magnesium materials, ceramics, and carbon-fiber composites to reduce the weight and production cost of a vehicle. The Council reckons that the spread of these materials as vehicle materials will help the world reduce CO2 emissions by 4.7 billion tons in 2050. In the field of artificial photosynthesis, the government wishes to increase the energy conversion rate by 30 times of the present level to 10% by 2021 through the development of a film that can separate hydrogen from water.   

Ocean thermal energy conversion (image)

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