Enviva, a global renewable energy company specializing in sustainable wood bioenergy, and Tokyo-based utility Electric Power Development Co. have agreed to a long-term, large-scale supply of sustainable wood biomass from Enviva’s manufacturing facilities in the United States to J-coal-fired Power’s power plants in Japan. The agreement aims to create a workable and investable plan for Enviva to build new infrastructure to produce and deliver up to 5 million metric tons of sustainable wood pellets annually to permanently replace coal in J-existing Power’s coal-fired power plants, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions significantly. The MOU establishes a framework for advancing biomass’s position as a renewable and sustainable energy source, as well as assisting J-Power in achieving its “Blue Mission” objective of being carbon-neutral by 2050.
“Climate change is a global issue that requires a global response.” “Enviva has a proven track record of producing a trustworthy, scalable, and sustainable solution,” said Thomas Meth, co-founder and senior vice president of sales and marketing at Enviva. “We are ecstatic that our collaboration with J-Power will enable this top Japanese utility to achieve its climate goals by providing stable, baseload electricity to supplement the intermittent nature of wind and solar.”
Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, nearly doubled its 2030 aim of cutting carbon emissions by 40%, up from 26% in 2013, joining other countries moving away from coal and other fossil fuels to speed up the battle against climate change. J-Power, which has 8.4 gigawatts of coal-fired power capacity, recently announced a number of initiatives, including the phase-out of old thermal power facilities and co-firing of biomass or ammonia.
Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will jointly assess the most sustainable and cost-effective ways to realize the coal-to-biomass conversion project’s potential, including supply security, port reception, distribution and storage logistics, safety measures, and project economics. The investment will be used to repurpose J-Power’s existing coal-fired power facilities through conversion, potentially resulting in both dedicated and co-fired biomass plants.
Converting existing coal-fired power stations to utilize sustainable biomass is one of the quickest and most cost-effective methods to cut a plant’s lifetime greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% while keeping employment in the supply chain. Former coal plants can continue to operate cost-effectively using their existing supply, generating, and grid infrastructure thanks to coal-to-biomass conversion initiatives. Biomass energy, unlike wind and solar energy, is not reliant on grid development.
“We are convinced that our collaboration with Enviva, which has a track record of delivering biomass in a sustainable and reliable manner, will bolster J-Power’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.” “We are meeting the social expectations of achieving carbon neutrality coupled with stable energy supply by combining J-Power’s highly efficient solid fuel technology with Enviva’s global supply capability,” said Shinsuke Suzuki, Executive Officer, Director of Thermal Energy & Value Creation Department at J-Power.
Enviva’s biomass will be certified under the European Union’s (EU) current sustainability requirements, ensuring that forest health, growth, and capacity are maintained and improved over time. The EU’s sustainability standard ensures that biomass is only sourced from regenerated, sustainably managed forests, ensuring that carbon stocks are stable or growing, forest harvesting is legal, and preventing sourcing from nature protection areas, while also considering soil quality and biodiversity.
Enviva issued its own Net-Zero Commitment earlier this year, promising to cut, eliminate, or offset all of its direct emissions by 2030. As part of this ambitious goal to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels and increase energy efficiency, Enviva promised to implement new and enhanced lower-emission processes through investments in initiatives that result in genuine, additional, and third-party validated net-carbon reductions.