Chubu Electric to invest 400 bil. yen overseas for emissions cut

© Kyodo News

Chubu Electric Power Co., a major Japanese utility based in central Japan, will invest up to 400 billion yen ($3.5 billion) overseas by fiscal 2030 to accelerate efforts to cut its carbon emissions, according to President Kingo Hayashi.

Of the total amount, the company is ready to spend about 250 billion yen for acquisitions of and investments in renewable energy businesses abroad, while it will set aside around 100 billion yen for technologies related to such energy sources as hydrogen and ammonia, which produce no carbon dioxide when burnt.

The utility is also ready to invest about 50 billion yen in the areas of electricity sales and power transmission technology, Hayashi said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.

Chubu Electric plans to make such investments through its affiliate companies including Vietnamese hydropower company Bitexco Power Corp. and Netherland-based electricity firm Eneco Groep NV, he said.

"There is a potential for renewable energy in Asia," Hayashi said. "We have to think about how to expand business in the region." Aside from Asia, the power firm will also accelerate investment in Europe, a frontrunner in utilizing renewable energy sources, he added.

The Japanese government plans to have renewables account for 36 to 38 percent of Japan's total power generation capacity in fiscal 2030, more than double the 18 percent in fiscal 2019.

In response to the ambitious target, the regional utility is tapping a variety of energy sources from solar to biomass so it can boost its power generation capacity. "We have to make every effort to increase renewable energy," Hayashi said.

Among all kinds of renewables, the company sees "a big potential in offshore wind farms," the president said. In addition to its domestic projects, the utility is willing to take part in overseas schemes if there is a chance, he added.