FutureMetrics paper discusses future pellet demand from Japan

By Erin Voegele | January 05, 2022

Japanese demand for wood pellets has grown rapidly over the past five years, with that demand primarily generated by relatively small independent power plants. Moving forward, however, FutureMetrics is predicting that future increased demand will come from large utility power stations.

A white paper authored by FutureMetrics President William Strauss in December discusses aggressive goals Japan has set for reducing its carbon dioxide emissions. The paper explains that to reach the goals, Japan will have to achieve a massive decline in coal-fueled generation while more than doubling power generation from renewables to 37 percent by 2030.

“These goals and challenges suggest that there will be a need for on-demand power generation both to balance the variability and intermittency of wind and solar generation, and to replace the baseload characteristics of coal generation,” Strauss wrote. “The need for carbon beneficial baseload power will become even more pressing if nuclear generation does not reach the goal of 21 percent of the total.”

Strauss stresses that modifying or converting existing pulverize coal generation units to use pellet fuel offers a relatively low-cost solution to boost renewables generation without degrading the existing plant’s reliability or output rating.

The white paper calculates the volume of wood pellet fuel that would be needed on an annual basis to meet national goals under a variety of scenarios. A full copy of the paper can be downloaded from the FutureMetrics website