Notes From Major Energy Summits Last Week: All Eyes on How to Decarbonize

March 8, 2023|Energy Policy

Several big events took place in Tokyo last week, among them the Asia Zero Emissions Community (AZEC) Public-Private Investment Forum and the Japan Energy Summit. While LNG and thermal power featured prominently, almost all discussions and speeches focused on how to decarbonize energy systems and the great uncertainty in demand outlook for fossil fuels in the coming decades. How to bridge traditional and new energy technologies, while maintaining security of supply, remains a key conundrum. We list some of the big talking points from last week’s events.

AZEC, March 3

The AZEC forum is supported both by the Japanese government (via METI) and big businesses (via the Keidanren lobby group). It aims to align Japan’s energy transition strategies with those of other nations in the region, especially those in Southeast Asia. With Japan already a major investor in energy and electricity facilities in Asia, achieving regional consensus on policies is good for business. So, while METI hosted top political leaders from Asia in Tokyo at the AZEC Ministerial Meeting, the Public- Private Investment Forum gave a chance for politicians to be joined by the chiefs of Japan’s biggest energy companies.

Attendees at the AZEC forum included the ministers responsible for energy in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia. Business speakers included the presidents of JERA, JOGMEC, IHI, Sumitomo Corporation, Erex and Shizen Energy, as well as senior executives from Tokyo Gas, MUFG Bank, Kawasaki Heavy and Mitsubishi Heavy.

Presentations by Japanese firms especially focused on technological advances and new projects in carbon capture (including the transportation of CO2 and its recycling), hydrogen (both from a green and blue perspective), e-methane as a future clean gas pathway, and energy storage systems. Speakers from MOE and NEDO, among others were also keen to point out that Japan has put aside significant public funds to advance these technologies and would look to sponsor projects that introduce them both at home and abroad.

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