Toshiba will stop taking orders for coal-fired power plants in line with growing global trends toward reducing carbon emissions, Nikkei learned on Tuesday, as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledges to reduce Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
Shifting its priority in the energy business to renewables, Toshiba will increase investment in them fivefold to 160 billion yen ($1.52 billion) by fiscal 2022.
Toshiba holds 11% of the global thermal-power generation market, excluding China. This includes building power plants, producing steam turbines and providing maintenance. While the company will stop accepting new orders for coal-burning plants, it will build 10 stations under existing orders in Japan, Vietnam and other countries.
Toshiba chalked up nearly 3.4 trillion yen in consolidated sales in fiscal 2019 ended March. Sales related to construction of thermal and hydraulic power plants totaled 223 billion yen, or about 40% of the global energy sector. Although the company will continue producing turbines mainly for replacements, it will drastically reduce sales in its thermal-power generation business.
Toshiba will boost investment in research and development of offshore wind power and next-generation photovoltaic cells. It also hopes to expand its renewable energy business to 650 billion yen by 2030, from 190 billion in 2019.
Earlier this month, Toshiba decided to enter the “virtual power plant” business, buying electricity from renewable-energy power plants across Japan for resale to local power companies.