Major variations were observed in the Japanese energy and utilities construction market in the past years. The construction activity basically includes new construction, repair and maintenance, refurbishment and demolition of the energy and utilities segments. It also involves construction materials, construction equipment & construction services. The Japanese energy and utilities construction market includes Electricity & Power, Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Sewage Infrastructure and Water Infrastructure.
The energy consumption sectors include transport, residential, commercial, agricultural, and fishing consumers and markets. The Japanese energy consumption sector had huge revenue in the past years and is expected to grow over a rapid pace in the coming years. Japan’s oil imports fell to the lowest level and also the gas imports fell after the first time since the Fukushima nuclear disaster. From the year 2010 the domestic power generation has reduced and is still recovering.
According to the report, “Electricity and Power (Construction) in Japan: Market Analytics by Category & Cost Type to 2021”, Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc. (HEPCO) is the primary electric power supply company in Japan with its headquartered in Hokkaido. Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. is another electric utility company in Japan that generates power, transmission, and distribution with its headquarters in Fukuoka. Also, the company is engaged in information technology (IT) and telecommunications, environment and recycling, and lifestyle-oriented services businesses.
After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan has started importing more of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia. But coal is and was cheaper than LNG with the energy security that was the priority for the Japanese government. According to the latest research report on energy resources, Japan is importing 95 % of all its energy sources. The country is trying to diversify its fuel sources and aiming to stand independent in its energy resources. A major category of the Japanese population comprising of community and environmental groups had expressed concerns related to the construction of a major coal power stations in Japan.
Japan has approved the Paris Climate Agreement and has committed reduce 26% of its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. The country has invested a huge amount in the commercial solar power in the year 2016 and is planning to increase its investments in solar power. Therefore, at this point of time Japan has decided to stop building coal fired power stations and avoid carbon dioxide emissions. There are various types of HELE and emissions reduction power plants in Japan. A report related to the study on HELE coal fired power plants states that they produce half of the emissions of traditional coal plants. Almost all the power plants utilise high energy, low emissions (HELE) technology that use high-quality black coal. Japan is the largest overseas market for Australian coal producers using more than a third of all coal exports.
Pacifico Energy is the leading competitor in Japan and is Tokyo-based solar power developer working on the largest solar power project in Japan. The Sakuto solar power project, at Okayama generates 290 million kWh of electricity every year for Japan. Many leading companies in Japan are eagerly waiting to build 41 new coal-fired power plants with total capacity of 18,431 megawatts in the next decade to satisfy the nation’s demand for power.
The use of inexpensive coal is expected to rise drastically in emerging economies worldwide to meet growing demand for electricity. With the accident at Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi plant in the year 2011, the nuclear power generation in Japan has been subjected to intense scrutiny and the already available renewable energy sources still cannot fully meet the demand for electricity in Japan. The country is trying to revive its nuclear industry which is still shut down, which contributes nearly a third of the total country’s electricity.
The Japanese population decline has really emphasized the seriousness of the crisis in all energy and utility sectors. Though there is a declining population in Japan, it is observed that there will be an increase in the power utility in the coming years. The five year population data of Japan is depicted in the below graph.
Japan’s aim is to preserve the environment has encouraged waste management and recycling technologies despite the falling population. The growth in Japan’s economy, industrialization, and depletion of natural resources are expected to further lead to the establishment of the waste management plants in the sanitary, sewage and water sectors in the years to proceed.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications