|SOLAMO for Existing Detached Houses Released to the Market
On October 10, 2010, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. released a new series of SOLAMO*1 solar-assisted gas water heating systems that use roof-top solar heat collectors for hot water supply and space heating. While the earlier models of SOLAMO systems were designed only for collective residences and newly-built detached houses, the new series can be installed on existing detached houses. Many houses in metropolitan areas of Japan have only a limited space on the rooftop or in the garden. The new series of SOLAMO systems is expected to facilitate the use of solar heat assisted systems by a wider range of energy consumers.
The installation of SOLAMO is assisted by grants from the Ministry of the Environment and local governments. Moreover, SOLAMO is expected to be covered in the next fiscal year by the "eco-point" incentive system for housing*2. Such extensive support to promote installation is expected to accelerate the deployment of these solar heat assisted natural gas systems.
|Tokyo International Conference for a Sustainable Future
On November 1, the Tokyo International Conference for a Sustainable Future 2010 was held at the Tokyo International Forum. In this conference, JGA organized a panel discussion titled "Reducing CO2 Emissions from the Transport Sector by Using Natural Gas Trucks." The panelists included Shigeru Muraki (Chairman of the Natural Gas Vehicle Deployment Committee at JGA and Representative Director, Executive Vice President, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.), Shuji Ikeguchi (Senior Vice Minister at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), and Toshinobu Kanaya (Professor at the Graduate School of Keio University). The topics included the national government's strategies for addressing issues in the transport sector, examples of decarbonization initiatives by leading-edge transport companies, and initiatives for reducing CO2emissions by using natural gas vehicles that have become increasingly popular in some countries in recent years. The main theme was the transformation of transport industries to create a low-carbon society.
In the conference, under the theme "Toward the realization of a sustainable society," keynote speeches were made by Ryu Matsumoto (Minister of the Environment), Richard Jones (Deputy Executive Director of IEA) and others. In addition, Marianne Fay (Chief Economist of the Sustainable Development Network at the World Bank) delivered a speech titled "Creating the Basis for Green Growth" and referred to the contents of the World Development Report 2010.
|First Seminar on the SUZUCHU Cool Kitchen Systems
On September 9, the Japan Gas Energy Promotion Council (commonly known as COLLABO) *1 organized the first seminar on SUZUCHU cool kitchen systems at the Hyatt Regency Osaka.
SUZUCHU is a brand name*2 used for a broad range of commercial gas kitchen appliances with features that prevent the ambient temperature from rising during cooking. We encourage the use of such gas cooking systems that improve the work environment in kitchens and safety level.
Commencement of the Injection of Biogas into a City Gas Distribution Pipeline
On October 12, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. began a full-scale demonstration project in which sludge-derived biogas from a sewage treatment plant of Kobe City was refined to meet the high criteria for city gas and then fed into city gas distribution pipelines.
Biogas, which is a combustible gas composed mainly of methane generated by the fermentation of organic matter in sewage sludge, food residue, etc., is a renewable energy which is expected to increase. Even though there have been cases in which biogas was delivered to city gas production facilities for use as feedstock, this is the first case in Japan to inject biogas directly into the city gas distribution pipelines.
The annual quantity of biogas fed into the city gas distribution pipelines in this project is expected to be about 0.8 million m3 (at 45 MJ/m3), which is equivalent to the annual consumption of gas at about 2,000 households. This is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 1,200t-CO2 annually *1.
These initiatives will boost the effective use of biomass resources and help create a low-carbon recycling society.
Report on the City Gas Sales in the First Half of FY 2010 (from April to September)
The total domestic gas sales in the first half of FY2010 (the total of 211 gas utilities in Japan) was 16,571 million m3 (41.8605 MJ/m3 equivalent), up 8.3% from the previous fiscal year. The total domestic gas sales in the first half of the fiscal year grew from the previous year for the first time in two years (since fiscal 2008).
The regional gas sales grew by the following percentages from the first half of the previous fiscal year: up 11.9% in Hokkaido, up 11.7% in Tohoku, up 7.6% in Kanto-Koshinetsu, up 11.8% in Chubu-Hokuriku, up 7.7% in Kinki, up 10.4% in Chugoku, up 9.5% in Shikoku, and up 5.8% in Kyushu-Okinawa.
The total number of customers has amounted to 28,812 thousand, which is 0.5% up from the same month of the previous year.
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