CCS in Japan

CCS in Japan


Japan is the third-largest economy in the world, after the United States and China. Although Japan consumes a large amount of energy, the country produces hardly any fossil fuel.  Over 90 per cent of the country’s fuel supply – including the resources for nuclear power – is imported.

According to the "National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report of Japan," its emission of greenhouse gas (not including land use, land use change and forestry) totalled 1,258 million tonnes (CO2 equivalent) for the 2010 fiscal year.

Japan's energy sector emitted over 90 per cent of total greenhouse gas of the country. Emission from industrial processes, agriculture, and waste accounted for only less than 10 per cent.

Figure 1: Greenhouse gas emissions by Sector in 2010 fiscal year

Source: National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report of JAPAN, published April 2012

Energy profile

Japan's major sector for energy consumption was industry, which accounted for roughly 70 per cent, followed by residential consumption. Since the oil crisis in the 1970s, Japanese industry has been heading for energy conservation while maintaining development of its economy. As a result, energy consumption in the industry sector has been declining. However, energy consumption has been continuing to increase in the residential, commercial, and transport sectors.

Figure 2: Final energy consumption in 2010 fiscal year
Source: FY 2010 Energy Supply and Demand Report (revised report), April 2012

Primary energy supply in Japan stood at 22,091 petajoules (571 million kiloliters of crude oil equivalent). Japan's dependency rate on fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, and natural gas, accounted for over 80 per cent of the primary energy supply. In particular, Japan's dependence on coal and natural gas has been increasing while the nation's dependence on oil has been declining to 40 per cent from around 70 per cent in the 1970s.

Japan's environmental technology on coal utilisation, accumulated over the past 40 years, and developments in efficient combustion technology have been leading the world in coal-fired power generation.

Figure 3: Primary energy supply in Japan in 2010 fiscal year
Source: FY 2010 Energy Supply and Demand Report (revised report), April 2012

Policy environment

For legal regulations concerning CCS, Japan has enacted the "Law for the Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disasters" (Marine Pollution Prevention Law).  Following the amendment of the London Protocol Annex I, the law was revised in September 2007 to allow CO2 storage in the sub-seabed.  The revised law stipulates the requirements for permitting CO2 storage in the sub-seabed in the country and the CO2 concentration standard.

Environmental and safety guidelines "For safe operation of a CCS demonstration project were formulated in 2008. 

Status of CCS

Plant builders, manufacturers and electric power companies in Japan have been conducting research and experiments on CO2 separation and capture – mainly post-combustion capture by chemical absorption, which targets natural gas-fired power stations, coal-fired power stations and other facilities.

For pre-combustion capture, an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) pilot facility has examined chemical and physical absorption.  The construction of a demonstration facility is also planned. Overseas, Japanese corporations have been participating in projects on post-combustion capture, oxyfuel combustion capture and pre-combustion capture in Australia, North America and Europe. The Japanese steel industry has also been conducting experiments on hydrogen reduction in a blast furnace and CO2 separation and capture from blast furnace gas.

In addition, Japan CCS Co., Ltd. was established in May, 2008 primarily for the purpose of conducting CCS research and development, as well as to conduct a feasibility study in Japan. The company is funded by 36 companies from the electric power, steel, oil marketing, oil development, chemical and other industries.

As for CO2 storage, an underground storage demonstration project was conducted in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture from 2002 through 2008.  Another 10-year demonstration project was launched in Tomakomai City, Hokkaido, in 2012.  Japan CCS Co., Ltd. is also implementing a project that aims to store CO2 in a sub-seabed geological formation.  The CO2will be separated and captured from hydrogen production equipment at oil refineries.  This project will demonstrate a complete CCS system for the first time in Japan.

Members of the Institute

The Members of the Global CCS Institute in Japan total 44 companies/organisations across various sectors, including Japanese government agencies, industrial circles, research institutes, and academic organisations. 

Global CCS Institute activities in Japan

The Global CCS Institute holds periodic study meetings to share knowledge with other Members, in addition to holding annual meetings where Members in the Japan region meet together.

In addition, the Institute gathers and analyses information about CCS globally and translates and distributes this information, and other major reports, to Japanese Members.  Similarly, the Institute also transmits information about CCS-related activities in Japan to the global CCS community.

Furthermore, the institute has been supporting projects in Japan on "CO2 Shuttle Shipping and Offshore Storage System" and "Sharing CCS Knowledge in Japan." The institute will continue supporting these two projects in fiscal 2012.

To promote early application of CCS projects on a commercial basis, the Institute supports research and study projects that are implemented by Japanese corporations, organizations, and agencies.