There have been developments toward a decarbonized society, a buzzword that has attracted public attention due partly to Prime Minister Suga’s declaration to go carbon neutral.
The Daigas Group has been working to become an innovative energy and service company that continues to be chosen by customers into the future. Thus far, it has worked to solve various social issues related to energy conservation and carbon emissions reduction, such as switching from coal and oil to natural gas, spreading the use of cogeneration systems and renewable energy, and putting hydrogen technology into practical use.
The Carbon Neutral Vision represents the Daigas Group’s declaration to take on new challenges to achieve a decarbonized society.
O-ta and G-ko, familiar characters, will conduct a surprise interview with General Manager Kusui of the ESG Office to dig into the details!
We have had sudden heavy rain showers lately. This makes it difficult to conduct patrols safely.
One theory goes that these heavy rain showers are caused by global warming.
Global warming? Give me a break. If it gets hotter in summer, I won’t be able to stand the heat any more.
Global warming is a problem for G-ko and people around the world. There has been a global trend to promote “decarbonization.” This is to substantially eliminate the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is considered to be the main cause of global warming, in the near future.
That’s great. Will Japan make efforts, too?
Of course. In October 2020, Prime Minister Suga stated in his policy speech: “We hereby declare that by 2050 Japan will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero, that is, to realize a carbon-neutral, decarbonized society.”
What is "carbon neutral"?
It is the concept of achieving virtually net-zero CO2 emissions and realizing a decarbonized society. We have come here to learn about the Daigas Group's efforts.
Energy companies, including the Daigas Group, have a significant role to play in realizing a carbon-neutral society. Obviously, the Daigas Group has been actively working to reduce CO2 emissions. In response to Prime Minister Suga’s carbon-neutral declaration, we considered it necessary to present a specific plan to achieve the goal. So we have released the Daigas Group Carbon Neutral Vision!
That’s very interesting. It has a lot to do with our children and their children.
Exactly! To meet social needs, we declared in the vision that we will achieve carbon neutrality in the Daigas Group’s business through technology innovation in 2050. Until the goal is attained, we will contribute to minimizing the CO2 emissions from our society.
You have two goals. There are steps to be taken.
This means that our initiative represents our commitment to the future. We have made steady efforts toward low carbonization by using natural gas, and we have produced results. We will steadily promote this initiative and develop future technologies. The Daigas Group aims to give the best possible answers while ensuring stable supply and resilience of energy and reducing the social cost in the future, in addition to reducing the CO2 emissions. This is the image of our future vision based on the concept. It represents our strong commitment to creating a better future!
There are various keywords. Would you explain them?
The key point is to diversify energy sources! As the first step, we will further spread the use of renewable energy to promote decarbonization of power supply. We will also achieve decarbonization of city gas by using methanation technology. We will offer an energy mix in combination with local utilization of hydrogen while ensuring both decarbonization and resilience.
So you will achieve decarbonization through various measures.
That’s right! Many innovations, including those that have not been considered, are required to achieve a carbon-neutral society. There are various possibilities, so we believe it is essential to prepare multiple scenarios and select them flexibly depending on the situation.
You mentioned earlier that stable supply and resilience of energy are as important as reducing CO2 emissions. What do they specifically mean?
Would you explain “resilience,” too?
Resilience means “flexible strength to endure difficulties.” In terms of energy, resilience means to cope with disasters. Notably, the Daigas Group has a special sense of mission to maintain energy supply due to the experience of the Great Hanshin earthquake. Given the risks of energy supply being disrupted by disasters, it is important to combine multiple energy sources, such as electricity and city gas.
It surely gives a sense of security.
Renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic and wind power, are inevitably affected by weather. This is their weak point. City gas systems, including cogeneration systems and fuel cells, whose output can be changed depending on the situation, are expected to play a key role in balancing the energy supply. So, city gas has the potential to contribute significantly to improving resilience into the future.
You have so many ideas in stock.
That’s because we think about the future seriously!
What about the costs?
The Daigas Group also keeps in mind social costs incurred to achieve carbon neutrality. Promotion of decarbonization requires various costs, such as capital investment to build a hydrogen supply system. These costs must be studied to achieve carbon neutrality. However, if we can promote decarbonization of city gas, we can use the existing equipment almost as is, and this will help curb the cost increase to some extent.
Is that really possible?
Methanation technology, which I mentioned earlier, is the key. Our engineering members will explain the details in the next issue. This is the road map of our efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.
Amazing! It indicates many specific efforts in respective fields!
This plan was created based on currently feasible technologies. The plan will be updated and improved depending on future innovation!
The future is bright.
Indeed. The challenge is worth it. The environment surrounding the energy business sometimes changes drastically. The Daigas Group has the “DNA” to meet changes. We will make arrangements properly to meet the trends of decarbonization.
Looks like the Daigas Group is ready to take care of everything.
Yes. It should be noted that it is difficult for the Daigas Group to fulfill this challenge alone. For example, regarding methanation, the Daigas Group has an innovative and promising technology called SOEC methanation. We successfully fabricated prototype cells of a size suitable for practical use for the first time in Japan. To accelerate R&D and contribute to decarbonization, we must cooperate with various companies, governmental bodies, and customers. This is open innovation, in which the Daigas Group excels. We will contribute to solving social issues by promoting open innovation more actively. I believe we can do it.
New challenges toward the future make me feel excited. You must feel the same way, G-ko!
Wait a minute. The road map is full of unfamiliar words.
Oh! Thank you for taking an interest. From the next issue, respective staff members in charge will explain the details of our specific efforts in the Daigas Group Carbon Neutral Vision, including methanation that I mentioned before!
It seems we must learn more about carbon neutrality.
will feature the following:At the forefront of methanation technology development!