Stranded investment associated with rapid energy system changes under the mid-century strategy in Japan

Oshiro, K. & Fujimori, S. ORCID: (2021). Stranded investment associated with rapid energy system changes under the mid-century strategy in Japan. Sustainability Science 16 477-487. 10.1007/s11625-020-00862-2.

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Japan’s mid-century strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050 requires rapid energy system changes, which may lead to stranded assets in fossil fuel-related infrastructure. Existing studies have shown that massive stranding of assets in the energy supply side is possible; few studies have involved economy-wide stranded asset analysis. In this study, we estimated stranded investments in both the energy supply and demand sectors in Japan in the context of near-term goals for 2030 and the mid-century strategy. To this end, multiple emission scenarios for Japan were assessed based on various emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2050. The results show that stranded investments in the energy supply sectors occur mainly in coal power plants without carbon capture and storage (CCS), especially in scenarios without enhanced near-term mitigation targets. Increases of stranded investment in demand sectors were observed primarily under stringent mitigation scenarios, which exceed the 80% reduction target. In particular, investment for oil and gas heating systems in the buildings sector may be stranded at levels up to $20 billion US between 2021 and 2050. We further simulated a scenario incorporating a subsidy for devices that do not use fossil fuels as a sector-specific policy; this reduced the amount of stranded investment in the buildings sector. We confirmed the benefit of enhancing near-term mitigation targets to avoid generating stranded investments. These findings support the importance of inclusive energy and climate policy design involving not only pricing of carbon emissions but also complementary cross-sector economy-wide policies.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2020 08:17
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2022 10:03

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