Industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Friday the administration will start working on setting a goal in three years for the best national energy mix and reach it within the following 10 years, taking into account the amount of renewable energy available and the number of nuclear reactors in service.
Motegi said he will consider moving up the schedule for setting the target if possible.
The government is in the process of crafting a medium- to long-term energy plan that reflects the situation in the face of the Fukushima catastrophe, which has raised concerns over the use of nuclear power.
Officials at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry have already hinted that specific percentages for energy composition, such as nuclear, will not be included in the plan due by the end of the year, apparently due to the difficulty now of foreseeing future dependence on atomic energy.
All 50 commercial reactors in Japan are offline and are required to clear a set of safety requirements introduced in July to resume operating. Because of the new regulations, utilities could be forced to shut down some reactors permanently.
The government is legally required to review the Basic Energy Plan at least every three years by taking into consideration changes in the energy situation.
The plan compiled in 2010 aimed to boost the nation’s reliance on nuclear power to some 50 percent of total need in 2030 from around 30 percent before Fukushima.
Idemitsu in Canadian deal
Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Calgary-based AltaGas Ltd. will together secure a majority stake in a Canadian oil and gas distributor to tap the country’s energy resources for export to Asia.
Idemitsu, Japan’s third-biggest oil refiner, and AltaGas will each pay 440 million Canadian dollars ($422 million) for one-third stakes in Calgary-based Petrogas Energy Corp., the companies said in separate statements. Their joint venture will focus on exporting liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas from Canada to Asia, including to Japan, Idemitsu said.
Idemitsu said in June it was seeking a stake in a natural gas field in Canada to secure supplies for Japan, where fossil fuel demand has risen since the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster began. Other Japanese companies exploring oil and gas exports from Canada include Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. and Mitsubishi Corp., which are involved in separate LNG-export proposals from the country.