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COP26: Japan to invest $100 mil to convert fossil-fired plants to ammonia, hydrogen based

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Japan is to invest $100 million in the transformation of fossil-fired plants into ones based on ammonia and hydrogen, the country's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at the UN's Climate Conference of the Parties in Glasgow Nov. 2.

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Fossil fuels accounted for 69% (651 TWh) of Japan's electricity generation in 2020, the seventh highest share in the G20 countries.

"With solar set to play a major role in the transition, conversion of thermal power to zero-emission generation is a necessary path to stabilize frequency," Kishida said.

Japan's renewable energy generation grew by 64 TWh in 2020, the bulk of this coming from solar additions.

"I want to assure you that Japan intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 46% by 2030 on 2013 levels," with an effort to extend this to 50%, Kishida told COP26 delegates.

Japan would use its Yen 2 trillion ($18 billion) Green Innovation Fund to develop next generation batteries and motors, hydrogen and synthetic fuels, "which together hold the key to the spread of electric vehicles," the prime minister said.

By 2030, Japan aims to have 800,000 fuel cell vehicles and more than 5 million residential fuel cells deployed, supported by an international hydrogen supply chain.

S&P Global Platts assessed the price of Japanese hydrogen (PEM electrolysis including capex) at $12.10/kg Nov. 2. Conventional hydrogen (SMR without CCS, including capex) was assessed at $4.89/kg.

On COP26's drive to boost international climate financing, Kishida said Japan would add a further $10 billion to its pledge to provide $60 billion over the five years to 2025.

Under the Paris Agreement, developed nations promised to supply $100 billion/year in finance from 2020 to support developing economies' climate actions. The target is not expected to be reached before 2023.

Kishida also said Japan would double its contribution to adaptation funds to $14.8 billion to reduce disaster risk, and provide some $240 million to support forestry conservation.