CSR Charter ⅡHarmonizing with the Environment and Contributing to Realizing a Sustainable Society
Actions for Climate Change: Working to Reduce CO2 Emissions at Customer Sites
- Principle and Outline
- Benefits of Energy Saving and Reductions of CO2 Emissions
- Approaches at Customer Sites (Households)
- Reduction of CO2 Emissions at Customer Sites (Business / Industrial Use)
- TOPIC: NSENGI/Osaka Gas Affiliate Wins Cogeneration Award 2018 Chairman’s Award (Industrial Use Category)
- Efforts in Renewable Energy
Principle and Outline
To help create a low-carbon society in light of global trends to stem climate change, the Daigas Group believes it important not only to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated in its business activities, but also to have customers reduce their CO2 emissions as well. The Daigas Group is seeking to assist customers in reducing their CO2 emissions by popularizing natural gas as clean energy and developing/proposing high-efficiency equipment. The Group is also working hand-in-hand with business partners and affiliate companies to reduce CO2 emissions in logistics.
Benefits of Energy Saving and Reductions of CO2 Emissions
CO2 emissions reduced by approx. 3.5 million tons at customer sites
The Daigas Group has proposed and sold various products that can help reduce CO2 emissions and thereby contribute to the curbing of climate change. Those products include the “Ene-Farm” fuel cell and the “Eco-Jozu” highly energy efficient water heater, both for residential use. Marketed for commercial and industrial use were gas cogeneration systems, gas absorption chiller, gas engine heat pump (GHP) and natural gas vehicle (NGV). CO2 emissions at the end of FY2019 declined by a cumulative total of 3.5 million tons from the base year of FY2009 thanks to the introduction of these products.
Approaches at Customer Sites (Households)
Household cogeneration systems
To help realize a low-carbon society, Osaka Gas is striving to sell and disseminate two types of fuel-cell systems that generates electricity through chemical reactions between the hydrogen extracted from city gas and oxygen in the air, which are polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) sold as “Ene-Farm” and “Ene-Farm type S,” respectively as co-generation systems for household use that help conserve energy and reduce CO2 emissions. These are high-efficiency energy systems that make effective use of the heat generated alongside electricity to supply hot water.
As of the end of March 2019, a cumulative total of about 100,000 “Ene-Farm” and “Ene-Farm type S” units had been sold, helping to cut CO2 emissions by about 170,000 tons per year.
Cumulative Sales Total of the Fuel Cell Systems
“Eco-Jozu” high-efficiency water heater
The “Eco-Jozu” high-efficiency water heater is able to recover the exhaust heat produced during combustion that is ordinarily lost and utilize it to heat water or room spaces; this saves considerable energy and helps mitigate global warming by reducing CO2 emissions.
A cumulative total of about 923,000 “Eco-Jozu” units had been sold as of the end of March 2019, helping cut CO2 emissions by 222,000 tons per year.
Cumulative Spread of “Eco-Jozu” in Osaka Gas Supply Area
Participation in the Blue & Green Project Creating forests through gas
Osaka Gas promotes the use of high-efficiency residential gas equipment, and since June 2006 has joined a group of 23 gas companies and gas equipment manufacturers in the Blue & Green Project, which aims to pass on to future generations an abundantly green planet.
The project is two-fold—selling energy-saving gas equipment and planting trees—both aiming to benefit the environment. Originally, this project was set up around the EcoWill residential gas engine cogeneration system and two models of the Eco-Jozu high-efficiency residential hot-water supply system. In FY2010, the Ene-Farm residential fuel cell cogeneration system was added as a new type of residential gas equipment. The first phase of the project that provided support for tree planting in Vietnam ended in March 2014. With the start of the second phase in April 2014, support was extended to reestablish the Takata-Matsubara pine forest in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, completely destroyed in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Since project’s launch in June 2006, the number of energy-saving units sold that belong to the project rose from one million cumulatively in 2009, which was the initial target, to two million in October 2011 and on, to the present total of 8.2 million units as of March 31, 2019. This increasingly widespread use contributes to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 2.38 million tons annually, calculated by combining the amount of CO2 absorbed by the trees planted with emissions reductions from the equipment. The number of systems sold by Osaka Gas that are contributing to this reduction is approximately 1.05 million as of March 31, 2019.
Solar power generation
Growing interest in the feed-in tariff for reusable energy and in energy security since the Great East Japan Earthquake has encouraged an expanding number of customers to introduce solar power generation systems. Responding such needs, Osaka Gas prepared a series of equipment for home generation including gas co-generation systems and solar power generation systems for residential use. A cumulative total of about 24,000 units had been sold as of the end of March 2019, helping reduce CO2 emissions by 56,000 tons per year.
We are also recommending “Double Power Generation” that combines a solar power generation system with “ECOWILL” or “Ene-Farm.” We have sold customers a cumulative total of about 40,000 units as of the end of March 2019.
High-efficiency residential gas stoves
Easy-to-use stoves that meet the criteria of the Rational Energy Use Act
The Daigas Group has been working on the basic performance of daily-use gas stoves for consumers—improving the stoves’ cooking performance and making them easier to use and clean —while also working to improve energy efficiency. We have made advances to optimize the burner shape, trivet (pot stand) height, and grill structure, and developed one improved product after another.
At present, the gas stoves sold by the Daigas Group—both countertop and built-in units—fully meet the criteria of the Act Concerning the Rational Use of Energy set in FY2007 for stove burners and in FY2009 for grills (exempting those items not covered by the law).
Supplying information on how to save energy
The Daigas Group uses a variety of media to provide information to consumers on energy conservation, including useful tips on how to save energy.
The meter reading slip provided to residential customers lists not only the current month’s usage, but the amount used in the same month of the previous year, making it possible to compare home gas usage. The Osaka Gas website also features a “Smart Living Illustrated Tips” section in Japanese, which introduces examples of energy-saving actions to take and their effects. The company also produces a “How to Use Gas Safely” booklet and other materials that are distributed to customers when periodic gas checks are conducted to assist in learning how to save energy, how to maintain gas equipment, etc.
Reduction of CO2 Emissions at Customer Sites (Business / Industrial Use)
Technological development and the spread of gas co-generation systems
Distributed energy systems generate power at the site where power is consumed and utilize waste heat from the power generation process for hot water supply and air conditioning. Thus, distributed energy systems are highly economical and environmentally friendly. The Daigas Group is striving to popularize and technically develop gas cogeneration systems that use eco-friendly gas as fuel for business/industrial use in factories, offices, and commercial facilities.
Since releasing the first commercial-use micro-cogeneration system in 1998, we have expanded our lineup of cogeneration systems with power outage response capability. Due to their superior power-saving capabilities, these systems have been widely used in factories, hospitals, public welfare facilities, hotels, spas and restaurants. As of the end of March 2019, there were 4,594 cogeneration systems under operation in the Osaka Gas service area with a combined output capacity of 1,571,000 kW.
In order to meet the diverse needs of customers, we are developing technology to further improve energy efficiency and reliability.
We will continue to step up energy saving efforts in the future and contribute to reducing environmental impacts by expanding sales of cogeneration systems.
Commercial and Industrial Cogeneration Systems: Cumulative Total of Installed Capacity and No. of Units
The development and spread of high-efficiency gas-powered air conditioning systems
Air conditioning systems that are powered by gas contribute to lower electricity consumption and energy savings. They include natural-refrigerant absorption chillers used for central air conditioning in large buildings and commercial facilities, and a gas-engine heat pump (GHP) system for cooling individual offices.
This air conditioning system, which employs a natural-refrigerant absorption chiller, uses city gas as fuel and water as a refrigerant instead of CFC. It supplies cold water for cooling and hot water for heating. The Daigas Group calls absorption chillers that are particularly effective in reducing environmental impact “green models,” and actively recommends them to customers.
A GHP system uses a gas engine to drive a compressor, collects heat from outdoor air with which to heat the indoors, and collects heat from indoor air, cooling the indoors by removing the heat to the outdoors.
“Smart Multi” is a hybrid air conditioning system that uses both a gas-driven and electric heat pump (GHP and EHP), controlled remotely for optimal operation. This system was first released in July 2016, and is now available in five models from four manufacturers. Recently the Smart Multi was awarded the 2018 Grand Prize for Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Conservation in the Product Category & Business Model Category.
Development of energy-saving gas boilers
Simplified once-through boilers are characteristically small and lightweight and, not requiring any qualifications to operate, they are used by a wide range of customers, including dry-cleaning shops and food/textile/chemical plants requiring large volumes of steam.
Osaka Gas is working with a variety of manufacturers and gas companies to develop, propose, and sell new simplified once-through steam / heating medium boilers.
The products achieve combustion with a lower load than earlier models, recover about 15% more heat from the exhaust gas released during combustion, and have a higher rated boiler efficiency, helping improve boiler operation efficiency and reduce air blower power consumption.
In FY2018, Osaka Gas developed the SQ-1200ZL, a gas-fired, once-through small-size steam boiler, Japan's first such device compatible with low-pressure gas pipes, which uses venturi suction technology.* In the same year, the Company also undertook joint development of the best-in-class-performance boiler with an evaporation capacity of 1,000 kg/h. By catering to a broader range of customers through the development of these products, we are contributing to energy saving and environmental conservation.
- * The employment of a venturi suction technology enabled the development of a product with specifications that are compatible with low-pressure gas pipes.
- The technology envisages gas fuel being taken in and supplied to a burner, using negative pressure which is generated when air flows into a venturi installed at the inlet of a blower. The venturi is designed to create a low-pressure area inside the device by narrowing the cross section where the liquid flows, a mechanism that can lead to a higher liquid flow speed. Conventional boilers required medium-pressure gas due to a mechanism in which gas fuel is injected into a high-pressure area at the outlet of the blower for mixing gas and air. The venturi suction technology has specifications that are suitable for low-pressure gas even in large-capacity boilers. Because it does not require medium-pressure gas pipes, the product can be used by a broader range of customers.
The development of a high-efficiency industrial “regenerative burner” system
The Daigas Group has developed 1,600 models of industrial burners and heat exchangers, along with high-performance control systems, and has contributed to reductions in CO2 emissions at customers sites in a range of industries and business categories through the pursuit of more energy-efficient burners.
There has been great interest particularly in our regenerative burner system, which is a combustion heating system that allows extremely high-efficiency recovery of exhaust heat in an industrial furnace. A regenerative burner system generally ignites a pair of burners that are integrated with heat reservoirs alternately at intervals of several tens of seconds. While one burner is burning, the exhaust gas passes through and heats the other burner’s heat reservoir to recover the energy of the exhaust gas. Then, when the other burner burns, the air for combustion in turn passes through the preheated heat reservoir to recover the exhaust gas energy, achieving a 35–50% energy savings.
We are also developing a natural gas mono fuel combustion burner for glass-melting furnaces that produce glass for bottles, automotive use, and building materials for customer sites to help reduce CO2.
Reducing CO2 emissions in logistics
In Japan, the number of trucks used by the group is less than 20% of the overall number of our automotive vehicles, but distribution accounts for approximately 35% of CO2 emissions. Large trucks generate particularly high emissions, so the introduction of natural gas-powered large trucks can have a significant effect on reducing CO2 emissions. According to a road verification report by the Organization for the Promotion of Low Emission Vehicles (LEVO), large natural gas trucks have 12.9% lower CO2 emissions than large diesel trucks. Osaka Gas is working to expand the use of large natural-gas trucks for long-distance transport between cities, and small and medium-sized natural-gas trucks for transport within municipalities.
In November 2016, we became the first company in Japan to start transporting liquid natural gas using LNG tanker trucks fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG). These produce about 7% lower CO2 emissions than LNG tanker trucks that run on diesel fuel.
In addition, Japan’s first commercial LNG station was opened in Osaka City in June 2018, allowing the start of transport using large LNG trucks. LNG features high-efficiency fuel storage, which lets trucks run for over 1,000 kilometers without refueling for further reductions in CO2 emissions.
Working together with customers to save energy
The Daigas Group is united in supporting customers using gas for industrial and business purposes in their energy saving activities and promoting energy conservation to contribute to global environmental protection.
Experts from Osaka Gas take heat and other measurements at the facilities of customers, such as factories, hospitals, and other commercial establishments, and use the results to recommend appropriate ways customers can save energy.
Our energy-saving activities with our customers help deepen the relationship of mutual trust. We are also holding in-house training and educational sessions on energy saving on a regular basis based on the results of energy-saving efforts. These sessions are designed to accumulate energy-conservation technologies and promote the shared use of these technologies while developing human resources with expertise in the field of energy-saving technologies.
Part of efforts to encourage local companies in the Kansai region to introduce natural gas equipment, Osaka Gas is promoting the “Try! Carbon offset” project, which envisages using the central government's J-Credit system to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted at various events held in Kansai region to effectively zero.
Under the government's J-Credit system, CO2 emission reductions achieved by customer companies when they introduce high-efficiency gas equipment such as natural gas-fueled boilers, cogeneration systems, and gas engine-driven heat pump air-conditioning systems are converted into credits, which are acquired by us. We then use the credits as carbon offsets for local sports events, local-government-organized events, and so on, which means that the CO2 emissions from such events are offset to the zero level. As a result of this initiative, we are promoting so-called “local consumption,” whereby credits earned by local companies are used for local events.
In FY2019, CO2 emissions dropped by 2,384 tons*1 , equal to the sum of CO2 emitted from about 596 ordinary households*2
List of Major Events in which Carbon Emissions are Offset in FY2019
|Event||Host||CO2 emissions (t-CO2 )*1|
|45th Sakai Festival||Sakai Tourism and Convention Bureau||288|
|Events in Nara Prefecture (multiple occasions)||Nara Prefecture||5|
|Hirakata Eco Forum||Hirakata City||1|
|Neyagawa City Environmental Fair||Neyagawa City||1|
|Higashiosaka Green Festa||Higashiosaka City||3|
|Takatsuki City Greenery Promotion Fair||Takatsuki City||2|
|Suita Environmental Education Festa||Suita City||1|
|Events in Ikoma City (multiple occasions)||Ikoma City||1|
|Cerezo Osaka home games||Cerezo Osaka Co., Ltd.||1,227|
|Performance by Takarazuka Revue Snow Troupe
(Takarazuka Grand Theater)
|Intercity baseball tournament||Japanese Amateur Baseball Association||250|
|Four Nations Women’s Hockey Ibaraki International Tournament||Ritsumeikan University, etc.||6|
|Osaka Gas in-house events||2|
- *1 Calculation of CO2 emissions to be offset
- The amount of CO2 emissions to be offset is calculated based on the concept of a marginal factor. Specifically, the amount is calculated mainly using the marginal factor for electric sources (0.65 kg-CO2 / kWh), adopted under the J-Credit system.
- The average amount of CO2 emitted by a general household is set at about 4 tons a year, calculated by Osaka Gas based on data used on the Website of the Japan Center for Climate Change Actions.
Provision of various ICT services
The Daigas Group has worked on a large number of energy-saving measures on the software front on top of proposing optimal and highly energy-efficient devices. Various information and communication technology (ICT) services the Group has developed are being used by many customers.
For example, the “Eneflex” energy-saving service is one such ICT service, through which customers can remotely control the operation of a gas engine heat pump (GHP) while being notified of the operational status of the pump and its energy consumption situation via the Internet or e-mail. “Eneflex” is designed to support the ongoing energy-saving efforts of customers by making energy use status available in a visible form.
In addition, we have also developed a service called “Eneflex Premium,” which offers a menu of functions in addition to the previous “Eneflex” functions, including a patrol function for automatic energy-saving in GHPs, an energy-saving control function, a thinning function, and a charge allocation function. “Eneflex Premium” is designed to enable busy customers to engage in energy-saving activities easily.
ICT services are offered in response to various customer demands.
In FY2017, we developed “ekul,” a real-time data measurement system that employs inexpensive devices that can easily be installed even in small buildings by using wireless systems and batteries.
In April 2019, we introduced a new service plan for the simplified data measurement system, “ekul lite.” This plan utilizes the IoT network Sigfox,* provided by Kyocera Communication Systems Co., Ltd., which features low cost, low power consumption, and long-distance transmission. In recent years, people have started to look with keen interest at utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT) to counteract various social issues including the aging population and declining birthrate, labor shortages, and environmental/energy issues. To respond to the request of many customers for a simpler and less costly version through the use of IoT, the new service plan was launched for customers wishing to start with the measurement of a few items.
Going forward, we will work hard to improve convenience and lower costs for customers.
- * Sigfox
- Sigfox, from Sigfox S.A. (France), is operated by Kyocera Communication Systems Co., Ltd. (KCCS) on an exclusive basis in Japan. Sigfox has been rolled out mainly in Europe and the United States, covering 60 countries in total, as a leading low-power wide-area (LPWA)* network. In Japan, the construction of Sigfox infrastructure and provision of the network service are carried out by KCCS.
* Low-power wide-area (LPWA): A general term for wireless communications technology that enables transmission over distances of kilometers with low power consumption. Radio waves can be sent to a base station, which collects data, with low consumption of the device’s battery power. LPWA has been receiving attention as a technology particularly useful for the Internet of Things (IoT).
Mid- and downstream business development in Southeast Asia
The group began surveying markets in the region around 2010 to determine the potential for mid- and downstream business development. The focus of the survey was Southeast Asia, because of the promise it holds as a market for economic growth with a high percentage of manufacturing industries, besides having many Japanese companies doing business there.
Gas business in Singapore
Osaka Gas and Singapore’s City Gas Pte Ltd. (City Gas) agreed to launch joint sales of natural gas in Singapore. Osaka Gas concluded a contract to buy an equity stake in City-OG Gas Energy Services (City-OG), a new company set up by City Gas to sell natural gas for industrial use. Under the agreement, Osaka Gas began selling gas in Singapore in August 2013, marking the company’s first overseas gas sales.
A total of nine staff—four from Osaka Gas Singapore (OGS) and five from City Gas—belong to City-OG as of April 2019. OGS members are strong in proposal-oriented marketing, especially in conversion of boiler fuels, while City Gas members have prowess in approaching potential local customers and in local business procedures. Since the business in Singapore started in August 2013, 31 contracts have been concluded with local customers. A total of more than 50 industrial customers receive gas from us as of April 2019.
Energy service business in Thailand
Osaka Gas has stepped up its business in Thailand with a focus on the energy service (ES)*1 business, utilizing Osaka Gas's energy service solution know-how, which is based on its engineering prowess regarding the use of natural gas in the Thai industrial market. Specifically, the new company undertakes overall utility-related businesses, including the installation of boilers and industrial furnaces, CNG supply, water and biotechnology.
In October 2013, Osaka Gas founded Osaka Gas (Thailand) Co., Ltd. in Thailand. A total of 28 staff—12 loaned from Osaka Gas and 16 local staff — belong to Osaka Gas (Thailand). OGT has received three orders for ES and 64 orders for facility installation and consulting services (as of April 2019) since the business started in October 2013.
In July 2014, Osaka Gas and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering Co., Ltd. (today Nippon Steel Engineering Co., Ltd.) agreed to form a business partnership for an on-site business*2 using cogeneration systems built in Thailand. Under the agreement, the two companies established NS-OG Energy Solutions (Thailand) Ltd. In 2018, construction of an on-site energy supply system for Thai Honda Manufacturing, part of the Honda Group, was completed and started supplying energy. This is the fourth such on-site energy supply project to be implemented in Thailand.
In November 2015, Osaka Gas and a subsidiary of PTT Public Co., Ltd. in Thailand jointly established OGP Energy Solutions Co., Ltd. to undertake ES business for industrial clients in Thailand. The joint company has received 29 orders from local companies for energy services and facility installation (as of April 2019).
- *1 Energy service (ES) business
- This service enables customers to introduce natural gas and other facilities, without any initial investment, simply by paying fees that correspond to the amount of energy use. The new company is equipped with natural gas-fired facilities, including boilers and combustion furnaces, to supply steam and other forms of energy to customers to meet their energy-saving needs. As an one-stop service for the management of energy use and facility maintenance, the company has promoted energy-saving as well as stable energy supply.
- Service in which the Daigas Group sets up a cogeneration system on customers' sites or near their sites, and supplies electricity and heat there. The cogeneration system is operated and maintained by staff posted at the facility.
NSENGI/Osaka Gas Affiliate Wins Cogeneration Award 2018 Chairman’s Award (Industrial Use Category)
NS-OG Energy Solutions (Thailand) Ltd. (“NSET”), established by Osaka Gas with Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering Co., Ltd. (“NSENGI”/today Nippon Steel Engineering Co., Ltd.) and the TORAY Group’s local woven textile manufacturing subsidiary in Thailand, Luckytex (Thailand) Public Company Limited, known as Toray Textiles (Thailand) locally, on an on-site energy supply project for which the award was granted—”Introduction of a Cogeneration Facility by Means of On-site Energy Supply in Thailand and Highly Efficient, Stable Operations of the Facility—a Case Study of its Introduction in Mill No. 2 of Luckytex (Thailand) Public Company Limited.” The Advanced Cogeneration and Energy Utilization Center JAPAN presented the Cogeneration Award 2018 Chairman’s Award in the Industrial Use category for the following reasons.
- The cogeneration facility has been introduced in Thailand in the form of an on-site energy supply system, which is a one-stop service that covers facility planning, possession, construction, operations and maintenance, as well as fuel gas procurement.
- In FY 2018, primary energy was reduced by 25%.
- The rate of operation exceeded 99%, with operations supported through a remote monitoring system by expert staff from NSET’s head office in Bangkok and NSENGI in Japan.
Such stable operation is remarkable in Southeast Asia, where it has been difficult to maintain stable operation of cogeneration facilities.
- A BCP (business continuity plan) has been put in place to address frequent power failures and instantaneous voltage drops. In the event of an abnormality in grid power, self-sustaining operation of the cogeneration facility takes care of the full load of the plant, avoiding any impact on production in the plant. This shift occurs about 30 times a year.
The award-winning cogeneration facility boasts an overall efficiency of over 90%. This high-efficiency cogeneration system mostly consists of a 7 MW-class gas turbine and a high-efficiency waste heat recovery boiler unique to NSENGI. NSET will continue to support its customers’ efforts toward the realization of a low-carbon society and to contribute to the sustainable development of Thailand by making use of this highly-regarded operations management technology and by offering highly environmentally friendly and economical energy solutions.
- ※ Cogeneration Award 2018
- The Cogeneration Award, established in 2012 by the ACEJ, commends cogeneration systems that are novel and pioneering, and feature new technologies and energy saving measures. The award program intends to expand social recognition of the usefulness of cogeneration and promote advances in cogeneration facilities. This is the seventh time the award has been granted. A Chairmanʼs Award, Award for Excellence, and Honorable Mention are given in each of these categories: Consumer Use, Industrial Use, and Technological Development.
Activities in Indonesia and the Philippines
Osaka Gas Singapore Pte. Ltd. established a representative office in Jakarta, Indonesia in October 2016, and in Manila, the Philippines in March 2017.
The demand for energy is expected to grow in the near future as the Indonesian economy expands. Osaka Gas had been studying the possibility of operating an energy business in the country by utilizing our expertise in providing energy solutions to meet consumer needs for saving energy.
PT Osaka Gas Indonesia (“OGIDN”) was established in August 2018, followed by a joint marketing agreement between OGIDN and PT Pertagas Niaga, the gas trading subsidiary of PT Pertamina (Persero), the state-owned oil and natural gas corporation.
A business license was obtained in October 2018, and under the agreement Osaka Gas Indonesia began jointly marketing natural gas with Pertagas Niaga. This development marks the third country in Southeast Asia, following Singapore and Thailand, in which we are involved in energy-related business.
Through this project, we will promote a conversion to natural gas from heavy oil and the efficient use of this clean energy, and will contribute to energy-saving efforts and the reduction of environmental impact in Indonesia.
Osaka Gas Indonesia will also develop a financing plan to aid in creating an energy service business that supports the introduction of equipment and facilities, aiming for business development throughout Indonesia in the future. At present, Osaka Gas Indonesia is staffed with 12 people—three employees dispatched from Japan and nine local hires (as of April 2019).
Meanwhile, the Jakarta representative office is currently staffed by six employees—two employees dispatched from Osaka Gas in Japan and four local hires (as of April 2019). Indonesia has a population of over 250 million. Since the demand for energy is expected to increase as the economy expands, we are now conducting a full-scale survey of energy infrastructure development.
The Manila Representative Office has three staff members—two from Osaka Gas and one local hire (as of April 2019). In the Philippines an increase in demand is expected and there is a plan to introduce LNG in preparation for the depletion of domestic natural gas resources, so we are aiming to participate in energy infrastructure development projects that make the most of our experience and knowledge, especially in LNG-related ventures.
Efforts in Renewable Energy
Solar power generation business
Utilization of solar heat
Osaka Gas teamed up with city gas providers Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and Toho Gas Co., Ltd., as well as the three manufacturers Kawasaki Thermal Engineering Co., Ltd., Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. (now Panasonic Corporation), Hitachi Appliances, Inc. (today Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning, Inc.) to jointly develop a solar natural chiller, a commercial air conditioner that uses solar heat for cooling. The product primarily uses solar heat, and makes up for shortages on rainy days with gas backup power to maintain system performance.
The solar cooling system, which is a commercial air conditioning system, is composed of a solar heat collecting device and a solar natural chiller. When used in a building with floor space of 4,000 m2 (3-4 story building), this system requires 24% less primary energy a year for cooling and heating, and it emits 21% fewer CO2 emissions (approximately 34 tons-CO2) compared to a system that does not incorporate solar heat.*
- * Calculation of primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions
- Calculation based on a 4,000 m2 tenant building equipped with a solar heat collecting device of 240 m2 and a solar natural chiller in comparison to a conventional natural chiller with a coefficient of performance (COP) of 1.0 (higher heating value (HHV). Note that the results for energy efficiency and CO2 emission reductions stated here for this system may differ from actual results due to the size of surface of the solar heat collecting device and the air conditioning load in the customer’s building.
Conceptual Image of a Natural Solar Chiller
Efficient use of biogas
A main component of biogas is methane, as in the case of natural gas. Biogas is a renewable energy source and is seen as an effective tool to combat global warming. Osaka Gas began purchasing biogas in September 2010 on behalf of customers who are to receive the gas from us through our pipelines, in line with our “Biogas Procurement Guidelines” — a set of conditions we apply when we buy biogas for customers.
It is a pilot project Osaka Gas launched jointly with Kobe City and Kobelco Eco-Solutions Co., Ltd., in which biogas produced at the processing plant in Kobe City is provided as our city gas to customers via gas pipelines operated by the Company. The amount of biogas we accept into our pipelines — whose brand name is “Kobe Biogas” — is about 800,000 m³ per year (equal to the gas consumed annually by about 2,000 households). Furthermore, Osaka Gas began operating a digestion gas-based power generation project at the Tamatsu sewage treatment plant in Kobe City, and a similar project at the Iho water purification center in Takasago City, both in April 2018.
Meanwhile, OGCTS Co., Ltd., a Daigas Group company, began operating the “Power Generation Business Using Digester Gas at Sewage Plants in Osaka City” in April 2017 in partnership with the Osaka City municipality, Tsukishima Kikai Co., Ltd., and Tsukishima Technology Maintenance Service Co., Ltd. Having combined power generation capacity of about 4,090 kW, the four power plants will generate electricity of about 25.8 million kWh annually, which is equal to the sum used at about 7,100 general household in a year. The project is one of the largest of its kind to be launched in Japan under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) power purchasing system, introduced in line with the Act on Special Measures Concerning the Procurement of Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources by Electricity Utilities.
Trial Project for Supplying Biogas via Gas Pipes
Energy Bank Japan Co., Ltd.
Power generation project based on renewable energy sources launched using unique financing technology
Energy Bank Japan Co., Ltd., a Daigas Group company, has undertaken projects aimed at promoting power facilities based on renewable energy sources across Japan, including solar power facilities, using its unique financing technology called “EcoWave,” known to have been effective in diffusing energy-saving facilities developed by Osaka Gas.
A financing scheme under EcoWave enables customers to install power facilities run using renewable energy sources without any initial investment. The scheme focuses on fund raising exclusively earmarked for developing renewable energy sources. Under the scheme, highly professional services backed by technological expertise are provided to local communities to support their efforts to develop renewable energy sources with the aim of promoting local production and local consumption.
As of the end of March 2019, power generation projects using the EcoWave financing scheme totaled 44 cases with a combined power generation capacity of 52,400 kW, including projects that have yet to start and projects still under construction.