TEPCO plans to buy power from thermal generating sources

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is planning a bidding process in February to secure increased electricity supply from thermal generating sources sources, according to Kyodo News Service.

However, the plan is raising concerns about an increase in greenhouse gas emissions if TEPCO uses more coal generation. Other experts also question the need for more power generation when the population is expected to shrink in the greater Tokyo area, the article said.

TEPCO has reportedly worked out a business plan that calls for securing an additional 2.6 million kilowatts of power in fiscal years 2019-2021. Part of the plan includes buying power through competitive bidding that is expected to begin in February. Suppliers are expected to be picked by the summer.

TEPCO says in the article that it is planning to curb emissions by purchasing "emission credits" from other entities to offset expected increases in emissions, but it will have a lot to cover if, for example, coal is picked instead of natural gas.

According to an estimate by the Environment Ministry, even factoring in what TEPCO is trying to cover with its emission quota, there will be a net increase of around 9 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. This is far greater than the around 5.4 million tons of CO2 emissions estimated to have been trimmed in fiscal 2011 through power-saving or other efforts that reduced household power demand, the article said.

The company has already formulated a short-term plan to boost power supplies to overcome supply shortages as a result of shutting down all its nuclear power plants after its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was crippled by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

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