Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. (Chuden) is a publicly listed energy company headquartered in Japan. In 2019, its revenue was US$28.08 billion and installed capacity was 33.49 GW. Chuden has operations in Europe, Mozambique, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Singapore. It shows some progress towards a low-carbon transition but needs to go further.
Chuden has several R&D projects in technologies with significant potential to mitigate climate change. In addition, the company recently invested in 40% of Toyota Green Energy, a joint venture with Toyota to develop and manage new renewable energy resources. However, little information is disclosed regarding spend or progress.
Chuden is focusing on increasing the efficiency of its thermal plants – it runs the most efficient coal plant in the world (63.08% thermal efficiency) and has the highest overall thermal efficiency in Japan at 50%. However, efficient thermal electricity generation can in no way achieve the levels of decarbonisation required to meet the Paris goals. While the company invests in more efficient thermal and works to restart its nuclear plants, it is missing the opportunity renewables offer, especially in a country with few fossil fuel resources.
Chuden is awarded a trend score of -. If the company were reassessed in the near future, its score would likely worsen.
Chuden has chosen to cover its loss of nuclear generation with coal and gas. This continuing over-reliance on fossil generation and a low level of renewables growth mean that Chuden’s emissions intensity and absolute emissions are likely to remain high for the foreseeable future, resulting in increasing divergence from the company’s well-below 2-degree pathway. Overall, little is being done to change direction, beyond some limited investment in R&D.
Chuden is planning to develop 2 GW of new renewables by 2030, taking its renewable capacity to 4.6 GW (15% of its 2018 generation). This is below Japan’s basic energy plan, which requires renewables to generate 22-24% of electricity by 2030. Chuden is working to increase the efficiency of its new coal and gas assets.
Chuden does not have a transition plan, but the Japanese government issues regular energy plans setting out national expectations of the electric utilities sector. The most recent national plan mandates a 44% non-fossil generation portfolio by 2030 (half renewables and half nuclear). It looks unlikely that Chuden will achieve this.
Chuden is a 40% owner of the newly created joint venture Toyota Green Energy alongside Toyota. The company is also pushing to reopen Hamaoka nuclear station, which will help reduce its emissions intensity.
Chuden has been improving the efficiency of its new fossil fuel plants and working on reopening Hamaoka nuclear station. Emissions intensity has reduced as the company replaces less efficient with more efficient thermal plants.
Chuden’s position appears incoherent. It does not have its own transition plan but has signed up to the national 2030 energy plan for electric utilities. Its corporate communications show that it accepts the science of climate change, and it has signed up to the requirements of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures but has unambitious targets.