On June 11, Mr. Norio Ichino, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., was appointed Chairman of the Japan Gas Association as the successor to Mr. Akio Nomura. Accompanying him, the following officers were also newly appointed to the Board:
Vice Chairman: Hiroshi Ozaki (President, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.)
Vice Chairman: Kotaro Mizuno (Chairman, Toho Gas Co., Ltd.)
Vice Chairman: Hiroki Ogawa (Chairman, Saibu Gas Co., Ltd.)
Vice Chairman, Senior Managing Director: Haruki Takahashi
Managing Director: Norikazu Hoshino
Managing Director: Hirofumi Kyutoku
The Study Group for the Direction of the Japanese Gas Utility Business in a Low Carbon Society
On July 15, the Urban Heat Energy Committee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy, an advisory body to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, came up with a draft policy recommendation entitled "The Goals of the Gas Industry in a Low Carbon Society." To identify problems facing the gas industry and look into specific policy options to achieve a low carbon society by 2050, The Study Group for the Direction of the Japanese Gas Utility Business in a Low Carbon Society was set up within the Electricity and Gas Industry Department of the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy in April this year. Based on an interim report compiled by this study group on June 30, this policy recommendation was prepared by the Urban Heat Energy Committee and represents its views.
The policy recommendation emphasizes the necessity of using natural gas as the primary energy carrier in a smooth transition to a low carbon society by the year 2050 and, in order to make a low carbon society a reality, urges gas utilities to carry out the following medium- and long-term measures by 2050 through the more efficient use of natural gas:
To achieve these medium- and long-term measures, the policy recommendation suggests that gas utilities carry out a series of tasks in the next ten years, which include: encouraging the development and utilization of cogeneration technologies, including fuel cells as the core of distributed energy resources; carrying out demonstrations of available technologies to create a smart energy network; developing technologies related to the manufacture, transportation and storage of hydrogen; developing technologies for using gas more efficiently in industrial sector; and accelerating the use of biogas, solar heat, and industrial waste heat. To implement these tasks, the policy recommendation proposes the following actions as basic taskes: developing pipelines and other infrastructure, securing a steady supply of LNG, and transferring energy-saving technologies to foreign countries.
|ENE-FARM Brand Fuel Cells Selling Strongly
The Japanese gas industry launched residential fuel cells in May this year under the brandname of ENE-FARM. As of July 22, sales of fuel cells stood at 200 units for Tokyo Gas, 500 for Osaka Gas, 500 for Nippon Oil Corporation(ENEOS), over 100 (less than 200) for Toho Gas, and 26 for Saibu Gas, with each company recording good sales for the first year of sale. Sales of ENE-FARM fuel cell systems have been boosted by active publicity by leading housing manufacturers, which consider fuel cells as strategic products. These firms are trying to distinguish themselves from others by selling environmentally sound and sophisticated homes equipped with ENE-FARMfuel cells for residential use. With firm order bookings, some companies have revised their annual sales targets upward.
Meanwhile, other companies, such as Shizuoka Gas, Hiroshima Gas, Chubu Gas, Shikoku Gas, Okayama Gas, Nippon Gas Group, Tottori Gas, and Iwatani Corporation, have launched or are planning to launch ENE-FARM fuel cells for residential use, suggesting that ENE-FARM products are likely to spread.
Related Articles: March 2009 Newsletter No. 9: Ceremony for Joint Declaration on the Release and Marketing of ENE-FARM Fuel Cells for Residential Use; National Budget for FY2009: 6 Billion Yen for Subsidy for ENE-FARM
October 2008 Newsletter No. 8: JGA's Activities for the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit; ENE-FARM Chosen as the Unified Brand Name for Residential Fuel Cells
From July 9 to 10, the 10th Round Table Meeting took place at Hotel MiraCosta in Urayasu City, Chiba Prefecture. This conference has been held in turn by the three gas associations of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan biennially, to exchange information and opinions on the current situation of the gas industry and problems faced.
The 10th Round Table Meeting was attended by 11 delegates from Japan, including Vice Chairman and Senior Managing Director Takahashi, eight delegates from South Korea, and six from Taiwan.
On the first day of the conference, the participating countries presented their respective country reports and presentations on gas marketing and safety measures in each country were made by the deligations.
On behalf of the Japan Gas Association, Managing Director Kyutoku presented Japan's country report, while Manager Yamamoto, of Hokkaido Gas Sales and Marketing & Planning Department,, made a presentation at the gas marketing session and Manager Utsumi, of Keiyo Gas Piping Department, presented a paper at the safety measures session followed by a lively question-and-answer session.
On the second day, the delegates took part in a technical tour, and were briefed on and visited Japan's latest cogeneration system.
The next Round Table Meeting is scheduled to take place in South Korea in 2011. The papers presented by the Japanese delegates were as follows:
>>> The Gas Industry in Japan
Theme Session 1: Gas Marketing
>>> Efforts of Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd. to Increase the Share of Natural Gas Usage
Theme Session 2: Safety Measures
>>> Conditions of the gas pipeline damaged by third-party constructions and prevention
The Gas Information Exchange in the Western Asia Pacific Region (GASEX) Steering Committee met in a conference room of Osaka Gas on Thursday, April 16.
GASEX is an international conference held every two years under the sponsorship of the organizations representing the gas industries in 15 countries and regions in the Western Pacific Area, the details of which are discussed and decided by the GASEX Steering Committee. The steering committee meeting is held biannually in turn by the member countries and regions.
The recent steering committee session was attended by 31 delegates from 12 member nations and regions and Japan was represented at this meeting by Vice Chairman and Senior Managing Director Takahashi and others.
At the meeting, a final report was presented on GASEX 2008, which took place in Hanoi, Vietnam, in November of the previous year, as well as a lively discussion on preparations for the coming GASEX 2010 in Taipei.
|The 2009 City Gas Symposium
On June 10, the JGA held the City Gas Symposium 2009 in Tokyo. This symposium is held annually to exchange information among city gas utilities and related firms, and includes presentations on recent trends in the city gas industry and the latest city gas technologies. At this year's symposium, 31 lectures were delivered, 56 posters were presented, 16 articles that received technical awards were exhibited, and special lectures were delivered. The symposium attracted more than 1,200 attendees from city gas utilities and supporting members. The next symposium will be held in Tokyo in June next year. Three of the papers, which were presented at the recent symposium and which may be of interest to JGA newsletter readers, are as follows:
Source: "City Gas Symposium" handouts
>>>: Development of the "Class S Premier" as an Advanced Model of "Si" Sensor-Equipped Gas Cooking stoves
>>>: The Status of Home-Installed SOFC System Development at Osaka Gas
>>>: Distributed Systems for Hydrogen Production from City Gas Combined with CO2 Sequestration
City Gas Sales for FY2008 and FY2009
Gas sales by 211 gas utilities in fiscal 2008 came to 34,505 million m3 (41.8605 MJ/m3 equivalent), down 3.9% from the previous year.
Annual gas sales volume decreased from the previous year for the first time in 31 years since fiscal 1977.
In a year-on-year comparison, gas sales increased 0.8% in Hokkaido and 6.0% in Tohoku, while sales decreased 2.9% in Kanto-Koshinetsu, 6.5% in Chubu-Hokuriku, 5.5% in Kinki, 2.1% in Chugoku, 2.5% in Shikoku, and 4.0% in Kyushu-Okinawa.
According to statistics as of the end of June 2009, gas sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 amounted to 7.652 million m3 (41.8605 MJ/m3 equivalent), down 9.9% over the year. Sales of gas for industrial sector, in particular, decreased 17.5% from a year ago, due mainly to the net effects of a drop in the operation rate of industrial customers' facilities.
As of the end of fiscal 2008 (end of March 2009), the number of customers was 28,592 thousand households, up 0.8% from the previous year, and the number as of the end of June 2009 was 28,625 thousand households, up 0.8% from the previous year.
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