(示意圖/圖片來源:Pixabay)

近年來日本生質能市場成長快速,受惠於電價補貼政策(Feed in Tariff, FIT),日本生質能市場在經濟與環境的表現,受到國際持續關注。

日本政府制定的再生能源目標為預計2030年將有22%-24%能源來自再生能源,為了達到這項目標,日本政府希望能夠使2013年至2030年間之生質能使用量增加一倍,而大多數生質能市場之成長將會來自「一般生物質」用途,包含木材、棕櫚殼及其他農業廢棄物或剩餘資材等。

比較日本政府各類再生能源發展目標(圖1),生質能成長為3倍,比其他類別再生能源成長目標稍微保守些,如太陽光電目標相比為7倍,主因為日本政府考量若只有國內料源供應,生質能產量似乎難以達成其需求目標。

(資料來源:Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), “Japan’s Energy Plan”)
圖1  日本再生能源發展目標

(資料來源:Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI); JETRO “Japan’s Biomass Market Overview”)
圖2  2012-2016年日本生質能電價補貼費率

由於國內需求成長,許多業者在穩定的生質料源供應上,下了相當功夫,這也促使越來越多公司與其他料源供應國,如東南亞國家,簽署長期採購合約。但自國外採購大量生質料源也引起對日本國內市場是否能夠持續發展的擔憂,日本生質能對環境影響之問題在於越來越依賴越南與中國大陸進口生質料源,但這些國家並沒有嚴格的環境規範。雖然日本政府已意識到需要採取行動,如要求木顆粒具有FSC認證,但在確保永續性的具體措施上值得後續觀察。

生質能發電應用部分,生質能市場仍繼續往大規模與商業化的商業模式發展,生質能大多被應用於發電及工業,而不是應用於小型住宅供暖,例如:位於(神奈川縣)川崎市、(愛知縣)半田市或(大分縣)佐伯市的50 MW大型生質能發電廠在未來幾年將陸續完工。

農林廢棄物應用部分,日本農林水產省透過補助小型生質能計畫,以鼓勵當地社區使用生質能。類似案例已在京都府京丹後市實現,並透過生質能循環經濟項目提供生質能補助金,該市未來10年目標將使用93.7%(目前為74%)之農業廢棄物與38.6%(目前為10.7%)木質生質能。

日本生質能發展經驗是透過FIT補貼,來推廣生質能,也累積不少之成功案例,但即便自其他國家進口固態生質能燃料,生命週期分析結果仍顯示生質能所產生碳排放比燃煤少,然而當越來越需要仰賴自國外進口時,生質能對環境效益似乎也因為長距離運輸而逐漸減少 (以生命週期評估法來看看生質能是否為環境友善能源?),當日本生質能市場引起全球機構關注的同時,日本政府正思考在生質能產量對環境、經濟限制及風險如何保持平衡。

(責任翻譯:吳周燕)

 


Overview of the biomass market in Japan

The biomass energy market in Japan has expanded rapidly in recent years highlighting the success of the Feed in Tariff (FIT) policy. However, concerns have been raised about the ongoing sustainability of the biomass market in Japan from both an environmental and economic standpoint.

The Japanese government has set a modest goal to produce 22-24% of energy from renewable sources by 2030. To meet this target the government is aiming to triple the amount of biomass usage over the 2013 to 2030 period. Most of the growth in the biomass market will specifically come from “general biomass” usage, which includes wood, PKS, and other agricultural wastes.

(Source: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), “Japan’s Energy Plan”)
Figure 1  Japan’s Renewable Energy Target for 2030

(Source: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI); JETRO “Japan’s Biomass Market Overview”)
Figure 2  2012-2016 Japan’s Biomass FIT

While at first glance the government’s biomass goals (Graph 1) seem modest-compared to photovoltaic targets (aiming to increase use by 7 times), biomass production may be more difficult to achieve as the demand cannot be met through domestic resources alone.

Due to increasing demand, many new producers are concerned about the stability of biomass supply. This has led to more companies entering long term contracts with suppliers in other parts of the globe. Sourcing large amounts of biomass from abroad has raised concerns about the sustainability of the market. The questions on the environmental impact of Japanese biomass are against the backdrop of an increasing reliance on biomass from Vietnam and China, countries without strong environmental regulations. While the government of Japan recognizes the need to act, thus far there has been few concrete measures to ensure sustainability.

Despite the concerns, the recent expansion of the biomass market continues to focus on large scale and commercial biomass. This is evidenced in the handful of large biomass power plants over 50 MW that have been, or are scheduled to be completed in the coming years, such as Kawasaki City, Handa City, or Saiki City. For the most part this is a continuation from the past, where biomass has been used for electricity generation to be consumed by industry rather than for small scale residential heating.

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sponsors smaller scale biomass, which mainly aims to use biomass from the local community. This has been achieved by sponsoring biomass grants to circular economy projects employing biomass, a case study which can be seen in Kyotango City in Kyoto Prefecture. In the coming 10 years the city has set a goal to use 93.7% (currently 74%) of agricultural waste and 38.6% (currently 10.7%) of woody biomass

Even when importing biomass from other countries, after a life cycle analysis overwhelmingly it is clear that biomass emits less carbon than resources such as coal. However, it is also evident that there appears to be diminishing environmental returns of biomass when a growing reliance on foreign supply is needed. Japan can be a successful case study for how to scale up biomass through policies such as FIT, but the country’s market also draws attention to the fact that biomass production has environmental and economic limits and risks as well.

 

References

  1. Japanese Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry –Japans Energy Plan
  2. Asiabiomass—Information on Biomass in Asia
  3. Renewable Energy Institute—Development of Bioenergy in Japan (PDF)

 


Cory Baird
來自美國的總體經濟研究者,目前任職於日本企業,主要工作為產業分析。

 

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