LNG-fired thermal power jumps to 39.5%


The ratio of electricity generated by thermal power plants using liquefied natural gas hit a record high 39.5 percent in fiscal 2011, due to the sharp decline in nuclear power following the Fukushima crisis, an industry body said Wednesday.

The proportion of LNG-fired thermal power jumped 10.2 percentage points from a year earlier as Japan’s 10 electric utilities were forced to compensate for the shutdown of all of their nuclear reactors, the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said.

The ratio of power generated by nuclear plants plummeted 17.9 points to 10.7 percent, the lowest level since 1977, when Japan had only 14 commercial reactors, compared with 50 now, according to the federation.

The total amount of power generated or purchased by the 10 utilities in fiscal 2011 through March was 955.0 billion kwh.

Meanwhile, the amount of electricity generated or purchased in May edged up 0.2 percent from a year earlier to 69.1 billion kwh, the fourth-straight month of increase, due to a recovery from a large plunge in May 2011 after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, according to the federation.

NTT into solar power


Capitalizing on a government program starting next month to have power suppliers purchase all electricity generated by renewable energy sources, NTT Corp. will enter the solar power generation business this summer, officials said Wednesday.

NTT plans to invest ¥15 billion to build around 30 solar power plants by the end of March 2015, according to the officials.

NTT Facilities Inc., which designs and installs solar power systems, will undertake the electricity generation project using its idle land.

The 30 solar plants’ total output capacity is expected to exceed 60,000 kw, enough to power 20,000 households a year.

The company will start the project with the construction of six plants, in Sakura in Chiba Prefecture, Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture, and Hokuto in Yamanashi Prefecture, the officials said.

The so-called feed-in tariff system is aimed at expanding the use of renewable energies including solar power.