RENEWABLE ENERGY BUSINESS COMPANY
Using the Earth’s limited resources wisely and building a sustainable society with cleaner energy are challenges common to all of humankind. Mitsubishi Materials has adopted this mission throughout all its businesses, and each day we undertake a host of activities to this end. Above all, the Renewable Energy Business plays a key role in decarbonization, and we are striving to expand it further.
In the Renewable Energy Business, we are active across a range of future-oriented operations to realize a sustainable society, including geothermal, solar and hydraulic power generation.
Yuzawa Geothermal Power Corporation, which was jointly established with Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co., Inc., commenced commercial operation of a large-scale geothermal power plant, the first of its capacity in Japan in 23 years, known as Wasabizawa Geothermal Power Plant in the Wasabizawa and Akinomiya areas of Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture in May 2019.
Unlike photovoltaic or hydroelectric power, geothermal power is capable of providing a stable supply of electricity regardless of the weather and is the most anticipated form of power generation among renewable energy sources for curbing CO2 emissions and providing a stable supply of electricity in Japan.
Having utilized our underground resource exploration technology, our Group has more than 40 years of experience in the geothermal development and power generation businesses.
As a Group, we will continue to utilize our core technologies to expand our geothermal power generation business.
In October 2014, we started an environmental study concerning a geothermal power project in the Appi area of Hachimantai City, Iwate Prefecture, and in October 2015, we jointly established Appi Geothermal Energy Corporation with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co., Inc.
Appi Geothermal Energy Corporation started the environmental impact assessment process in October 2015, received a verification notice of its environmental impact statement in January 2018 and completed public inspection of the statement in March of the same year. With the addition of Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. in June 2018, the three companies made changes to their systems to proceed with commercialization. Construction work began in August 2019, with the operation of a 14,900-kW geothermal power plant scheduled to commence in April 2024.
In May 2018, we established New Energy Fujimino Co., Ltd. (NEFC) as a consolidated subsidiary for the purpose of converting food waste to biogas and selling the generated electric power. The company plant commenced commercial operation in September 2020.
NEFC processes 40 tons of food waste per day from food-related businesses such as food factories and retail stores and uses the biogas produced to generate electricity (output: 550 kW). The generated electricity is sold using the feed-in tariff (FIT) system for renewable energy.
Currently, approximately 16 million tons of food waste is generated annually in Japan, of which approximately 70% is incinerated. However, the remaining life of domestic waste disposal sites is said to be about 20 years, and it is difficult to build new ones. Accordingly, the implementation of measures to prolong their life by reducing the amount of final disposal has become a priority. From the perspective of combating global warming, the reduction of carbon dioxide generated during incineration is also a priority.
NEFC has established a unique business scheme to generate electricity using biogas derived from food waste (renewable energy), as well as recycle materials such as waste plastic and sludge generated during processing for use as raw materials or as thermal energy alternatives in our Group's cement plants. This scheme results in zero final disposal waste and a reduction in CO2 emissions, thereby extending the life of final disposal sites and helping combat global warming.
The Company's business began when Tsukumo Shokai, the predecessor of Mitsubishi Shokai, entered the coal and metal mining business just after the Meiji Restoration. As sources of electricity required for operations in coal and metal mines, we have developed and utilized natural energy sources such as hydraulic and geothermal power generation systems ahead of other companies since the initial introduction of these technologies in Japan, and these operations have become the foundation of our Renewable Energy Business today. We will make the most of this know-how and expand our efforts to contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society.
|1898||Established the Nagata Hydroelectric Power Station|
|1907||Established the Ikari Hydroelectric Power Station|
|1976||Started operation of Onuma Geothermal Power Station|
|1994||Established Hachimantai Geothermal Corporation (now Hachimantai Green Energy Co., Ltd.)|
|1995||Established the Sumikawa Geothermal Power Station|
|2013||Established LM Sun Power Co., Ltd.|
|2018||Established New Energy Fujimino Co., Ltd.|
|2019||Yuzawa Geothermal Power Corporation. Started operation of Wasabizawa Geothermal Power Plant.|