Japanese electronics firm Toshiba has stopped accepting new orders for building coal-fired power plants, shifting its focus to renewable power projects to accelerate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The decision comes with the firm’s new target to achieve a 50% reduction of GHG emissions by the April 2030-March 2031 fiscal year and more than 80% by 2050-51 compared with 2019-20 levels.
But Toshiba will continue with existing projects, such as building, replacing and maintenance of coal-fired power plants. The company currently has around 10 such projects, which will be carried out based on the existing contracts, it said.
Toshiba plans to spend ¥160bn ($1.52bn) for renewable energy projects over three years for April 2020-March 2023, which is about five times the annual budget the company currently allocates for its entire energy businesses. The investment will be used mainly to develop and expand technologies for solar panels, wind and hydropower generation, as well as storage batteries to cope with unstable renewable power supplies.
Toshiba aims to boost sales revenue from the renewable energy sector to ¥650bn in 2030-31, more than triple the ¥190bn in 2019-20.
Japan has pledged to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. The government is now working on action plans covering areas such as hydrogen fuels, battery storage and carbon recycling, while it is looking at all options including renewables, nuclear and hydrogen to meet a possible rise in power demand in a carbon neutral society.