Economy ministry draws up blueprints for thermal power plants' future

NHK has learned that Japan's economy ministry has drawn up proposals for using redesigned thermal power plants, as the country aims to ensure a stable electric supply while trying to achieve carbon neutrality.

Japan has set the goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. What makes things difficult is that Japan has to achieve this goal while utilizing carbon-intensive thermal power plants that account for 70 percent of the total power output.

The ministry argues that the ratio of thermal power generation should be minimized to reduce the carbon footprint.

The ministry proposes that plants to be built in the future mix fuel with hydrogen or ammonia that do not produce CO2 when burned.

As for existing plants, operators will be asked to clarify whether they will renovate the facilities to make them greener, or scrap them eventually.

The ministry plans to study legal and other frameworks to put their proposals into practice.