April 30, 2010 / 10:39 AM / 9 years ago

Japan's TEPCO bought $229 mln in carbon credits last yr

TOKYO, April 30 (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co (9501.T), Japan’s biggest utility, spent $229 million in the last business year on carbon credits, paving the way to achieve a self-imposed target to help Japan to meet its Kyoto Protocol commitments.

TEPCO, one of the world’s most active carbon credit buyers, did not say how much delivery it received in CO2 equivalent in the business year to March 2010, or the volume of carbon credits it bought abroad for the 21.5 billion yen ($229 million).

The spending was down from 34.9 billion yen TEPCO booked as costs in earnings in 2008/2009 for carbon credits. [ID:nT12835]

Last year, TEPCO restarted two of the seven reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, the world’s largest, after it was forced to shut the entire complex following a major earthquake in northern Japan in 2007.

In 2009/2010, TEPCO generated about 110 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions. Running the two reactors through a year would have contributed to a cut of a total of 8 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by curbing the usage of more polluting fossil fuels, a company spokesman said.

TEPCO declined to comment on its carbon credit buying plans on Friday, when it announced annual earnings. TEPCO has said it plans to use 57 percent more oil than a year earlier to meet an expected pickup in power demand. [ID:nTOE62U01M]

Even though their targets are voluntary, all power firms in Japan have said that if their efforts to make low-carbon electricity are insufficient they will buy carbon offsets from abroad as the Kyoto Protocol allows.

Industrywise, each power firm is set to emit 20 percent less CO2 per kilowatt hour than 1990 levels over the five-year period of the Kyoto agreement to March 2013.

TEPCO said it emitted 0.39 kg CO2 per kilowatt hour in 2009/2010, down from 0.42 kg a year earlier but above its target of 0.30 kg over Kyoto’s 2008-2012 period. ($1=94.07 Yen) (Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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