POWER UTILITY | Staff Reporter, Japan

TEPCO pivots to overseas renewables as nuclear outlook dims

It plans to produce up to 7GW of renewable power.

Japan’s TEPCO is pinning its hopes on renewable energy projects abroad to boost growth, in light of slowing domestic demand and continued cleanup work at Fukushima.

In a statement, the company said that it has “high hopes” for the potential of renewable energy, which it hopes will become a strong revenue stream similar to fuel and thermal power generation.

“Renewables are an essential component of our future. We believe we can scale up our renewables business to create a new source of revenue comparable to JERA,” said Tomoaki Kobayakawa, the company’s youngest-ever president.

Japan’s electricity market is shrinking due to energy conservation and a rapidly decreasing population. To meet its ambitious revenue goals, Kobayakawa noted that TEPCO must look beyond its traditional service area in the Kanto region around Tokyo.

“Our main mission is guaranteeing the delivery of a stable supply of low-cost electricity customers. Within that mission, nuclear power is not everything. Thermal power, the procurement of renewable energy, and hydropower all play a part,” he added.

In an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review, Kobayakawa said that TEPCO is keen to form new partnerships abroad. “As a domestic energy company, there are two actions we must take against the declining population and the advancement of energy conservation. We will increase our foreign share,” he said.

Tepco aims to develop renewable energy installations in Japan and overseas that produce 6 gigawatts to 7 gigawatts of power, with the operations contributing ¥100b in profit.

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