Japan's industry minister says his ministry plans to study drawing up a roadmap to reduce coal-fired power generation, while aiming to accelerate a shift toward renewable energy.
Kajiyama Hiroshi was speaking to reporters on Friday about the ministry's drastic review of energy generation.
Kajiyama said the government hopes to phase out inefficient coal-fired power plants to achieve a carbon-free society. He said he instructed ministry officials to start discussions to come up with a more feasible system.
The ministry plans to set up an expert panel on the matter this month.
The panel would discuss ways to cut power generation at outdated coal-fired plants by about 90 percent by fiscal 2030. This would mean closing down about 100 old generators. The panel would also discuss how to avoid massive power outages in the event of natural disasters.
To accelerate the shift to renewable energy use, the panel is to review current rules to give priority to plants using renewable fuel over fossil fuels in using power transmission lines.
The ministry hopes to compile a roadmap this year.
Coal-fired power generation accounted for 31 percent of Japan's electricity output in fiscal 2018. The government aims to reduce dependence on coal to 26 percent by fiscal 2030.
Kajiyama stressed the government's resolve to cut carbon dioxide emissions. He said Japan is a resource-poor island country with no power line networks linked to the continent, but is ready to do what it can, without excuses.