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Japan

Japan’s clean electricity transition faces a coal problem

Japan’s solar spree in recent years meant that wind and solar combined generated more than a tenth of the country’s electricity in 2022. However, its slow electricity transition means fossil generation still accounted for more than two-thirds of generation in 2022.

In 2022, Japan’s fossil gas generation was down by 2.2% (-7.3 TWh), its fifth consecutive year of decline, with its share in power generation falling to 34%. However, the country’s coal generation rose significantly by 3.1% (+9.7 TWh), largely to cover falls in nuclear generation and hydro. Consequently, Japan is phasing out coal at a much slower pace than counterparts that have seen over 10% reductions in coal generation over the past five years such as the EU (-30%), Australia (-22%), United States (-31%) or South Korea (-13%).

Japan’s is welcome, but the lack of concrete plans to phase out coal threatens to undermine it. According to the , to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C, Japan should phase out coal by 2030, fully decarbonise electricity by 2035 and become net-zero by 2050.

  Last updated: April 2023

Progress towards 1.5C power sector benchmarks
Japan
2000–2040


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