|The 24th World Gas Conference
The 24th World Gas Conference was held from October 5 to 9 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The theme of the conference this year was "The Global Energy Challenge: Reviewing the Strategies for Natural Gas." The conference was attended by more than 170 participants from Japan.
Norio Ichino, JGA Chairman, delivered the keynote address on promoting regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific gas industry, for sustainable development in the region. For the Strategic Panel sessions, Issei Hatakeyama, Director of the Gas Market Division,Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, spoke on Japan's national policies for the stable procurement of natural gas.
As panelists in the Strategic Panel sessions, Shigeru Muraki, Senior Executive Officer at Tokyo Gas, spoke on the strategic outlook on natural gas for years up to 2030; Shigeki Hirano, Senior Executive Officer at Osaka Gas spoke on innovations and new technologies for enhancing the competitiveness of gas; Tadaaki Maeda, Executive Vice President of Tokyo Gas, spoke on the future role of LNG; and Kazuo Kakehashi, Senior Executive Officer at Osaka Gas, spoke on the integration of natural gas markets.
In addition, participants from Japan delivered 16 oral presentations and 14 poster presentations for the sessions of nine committees and a task force.
The materials related to the presentation delivered by Norio Ichino, JGA Chairman, are provided below.
>>> "Promoting regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific gas industry, for sustainable development in the region"
Related articles: October 2006 Newsletter No. 5: The 23rd World Gas Conference and the JGA's Booth
|Tokyo International Conference for Sustainable Future
On October 23 (Friday), the Tokyo International Conference for Sustainable Future 2009 was held at the Tokyo International Forum.
Experts and environmental leaders from Japan and abroad were invited to the conference to discuss with visiting business leaders about the role of each country in the post-Kyoto framework, the growth strategies of corporations and management techniques.
The program included a panel discussion on the theme of "Challenges of a Low Carbon Society: Area-wide and Advanced Use of Natural Gas." As one of the panelists, Yosuke Kondo, Parliamentary Secretary of METI (a member of the House of Representatives from the Democratic Party of Japan), spoke on the need to promote the advanced use of natural gas for achieving the 25% reduction of GHG emissions from the 1990 level, a target announced by the new administration. He acknowledged that achieving a low carbon society would require the expanded use of natural gas including area-wide and advanced utilization, along with diversified modes of utilization particularly in combination with renewable energy sources such as biogas and solar heat. He also reiterated the Government's active commitment to securing natural gas resources.
Hiroshi Ozaki (Chairman of the Toshi-gas Shinko Center, Vice Chairman of JGA and President of Osaka Gas) served as the facilitator for the panel discussion. He concluded as follows: "We have agreed that natural gas will continue to play an important role for a long time in the future. The city gas industry is committed to the challenge of expanding the use of renewables while continuing to make progress in technological development and to provide services that meet the needs of customers."
The First Symposium of the Solar Energy Promotion Forum
On September 28, the Solar Energy Promotion Forum, an organization formed by the Japan Gas Energy Promotion Council (commonly known as COLLABO), the Solar System Development Association and other related associations, held the first symposium at the head office of Tokyo Gas. The symposium was attended by 350 participants who mostly came from the gas industry, governmental agencies and house manufacturers.
The Solar Energy Promotion Forum aims to increase the number of environment-friendly residential houses and buildings. For example, the Forum makes proposals concerning environmentally outstanding residential houses that combine "With-Gas houses" (equipped with advanced gas appliances) with solar heat utilization and photovoltaic systems. In collaboration with related industries and organizations, the Forum coordinates the efforts of the gas energy industry to expand the use of solar heat utilization systems.
Hidetoshi Nakagami. President of the Jyukankyo Research Institute Inc., noted in his speech that the share of renewables in the total domestic primary energy supply was as low as 5% in 2005. He also mentioned that the share of solar heat in this tiny supply of renewables was a mere 2%.
Kazuaki Bogaki, Professor at the Faculty of Urban Life Studies, Tokyo City University, described the rapid expansion in the use of solar-heated hot water in China and explained the contributing factors.
The Solar Energy Promotion Forum expects to organize the second symposium in conjunction with an international conference on renewables (Renewable Energy 2010) to be held at Pacifico Yokohama from June 27 to July 2, 2010. The symposium will include the reporting of model projects, marketing surveys and other activities in FY2009 from each expert committee of the Forum and presentations on specific areas of activities.
Utilization of Biogas for City Gas Supply
On October 19, Tokyo Gas and Osaka Gas announced a plan to start accepting biogas as a source of city gas from 2010 and to feed the locally refined biogas into city gas distribution pipes. The utilities plan to purchase biogas from food processing plants or sewage treatment plants, refine it to the quality of city gas, and mix it with ordinarily produced city gas.
Tokyo Gas will accept biogas from food residues while Osaka Gas will accept biogas from sludge at sewage treatment plants. Each company plans to accept around 800,000 m3 of biogas (city gas equivalent) each year. The term of the purchase contracts is 10 years from FY2010 to FY2019. Even though there have been examples of delivering sewage-derived biogas to a city gas production facility (e.g. at Kanazawa City), these will be the first attempts to feed locally refined biogas directly into distribution pipes. By making the efficient use of biogas as a renewable resource, the utilities aim to reduce CO2 from the city gas business, thus helping to create a low carbon and recycling society by reducing CO2 emissions.
City Gas Sales in the First Half of FY2009 (from April to September)
The total domestic gas sales in the first half of FY2009 (the total of 211 gas utilities in Japan) was 15,294 million m3 (41.8605 MJ/m3 equivalent), which was 8.5% down from the first half of the previous fiscal year.
The total number of supply contracts (households) amounted to 28,659 thousand, a rise of 0.8% from the same month of the previous year.
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