In a recent report, Mizuho Financial Group Inc. emphasizes Japan's need to harness its technological advancements in offshore wind farms, hydrogen power, and carbon recycling to bolster global competitiveness and address the imperative of net-zero carbon emissions. Yasuhiko Ushikubo, Senior Executive Officer and Group Chief Sustainability Officer for Mizuho Financial Group, underscored the importance of advancing electrification and ramping up renewable energy production.
The December 1 sustainability report outlines recommendations for Japan to accelerate technological innovation and undertake structural business reforms, focusing particularly on three key fields: offshore wind, hydrogen, and carbon recycling. Mizuho advocates for the development of floating offshore wind farms, utilizing Japan's surrounding waters to significantly increase renewable electricity generation. Ushikubo highlights the challenges associated with land-based solar power farms due to the country's mountainous terrain.
Recognizing Japan's technological strides in offshore wind power, including turbine component manufacturing and electrical systems, Ushikubo stresses the need for further development and global competitiveness. The report positions offshore wind farms as a pivotal business for Japan's sustainable future, with considerable potential despite current planning stages.
Hydrogen emerges as the second focal point for achieving zero emissions, offering an alternative for high-temperature processes in industries still reliant on traditional fuels. Japan is urged to innovate in efficient water electrolysis, hydrogen cargo ships, and cost-effective hydrogen stations for fuel cell vehicles.
The report acknowledges the time required for these initiatives to yield results, with many offshore wind farms slated for operation post-2030. While experts emphasize the urgency of reducing carbon emissions by 2030 to meet Paris Agreement targets, Ushikubo lauds the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference agreement in Dubai, despite lingering concerns and the need for further discussions.
As Mizuho commits to supporting the transition by financing promising technologies, Ushikubo emphasizes a multifaceted approach, including rooftop solar panels, offshore wind turbines, judicious nuclear power resumption, and co-firing ammonia at coal-burning plants. Mizuho aims to compile policy proposals for the government and provide comprehensive solutions to its business clients in alignment with evolving global sustainability goals.