Japan is one of many countries struggling to strike a balance between energy needs and ecological objectives as pressure rises to cut pollution severely. Nonetheless, issues like the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine and a depreciating currency have made Japan’s energy problems even more complicated, leading to more significant expenses for fuel imports and higher rates for major power firms.
Some industry professionals were perplexed by choice made last autumn by Japan’s leading power supplier to use extra green energy for cryptocurrency activities in this context.
The action highlighted the difficulty of efficiently storing excess energy in a nation where the percentage of electricity produced from sustainable supplies will play a more critical role in achieving the zero carbon set for 2050.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings announced its intention to utilize excess renewable power to sustain cryptocurrency mining activities in dispersed server centers around Japan in September 2022. Furthermore, through its recently established affiliate, Agile Energy X, the company asserted that it would successfully utilize previously restricted and lost energy.
There are some uncertainties around the cryptocurrency plan, according to reports on February 22, since Tepco is reportedly working with a chemical firm to use excess renewable energy sources for production.
Concerns about energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining have been expressed due to the high computing demands that miners must meet. Although Japan lags behind a few of its Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development competitors in renewables, director Makoto Tajima thinks investing in enhancing infrastructure and raising production would be wiser.
Batteries, as per Tajima, are prohibitively expensive, unable to store energy for a lengthy time, and may never be appropriate for protracted energy storage. As a substitute, he suggests thermal energy preservation for electricity providers struggling with excess renewable energy.
The idea is to heat water during periods of surplus energy supply and store that heat for use during increased demand; the same concept holds for cooling. Tajima notes that companies can retain thermal energy for several months instead of just a few days or hours.
In addition, he notes that Denmark has a sizable combined heat and power network, with more than 60% of houses connected to it countrywide and 90% of the total in Copenhagen. Denmark has effectively managed the varying renewable energy generation because of its extensive network.
Tajima contends that additional measures should be taken to fortify the electricity system, implement a successful demand alert system, and create an effective energy sector mechanism to address the energy consumption and capacity gap between rural and urban areas.
He says improving Japan’s poor energy management and infrastructure procedures should be the country’s top priority.