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Greening by Technology

Toshiba Group's Approach in the Energy Sector

To achieve the goals of Environmental Vision 2050, Toshiba Group is promoting initiatives aimed at providing a stable power supply and mitigating climate change through its low-carbon energy technologies.

In the area of main energy, which supports our lives, we are working to develop technology for thermal and nuclear power generation. At present, we depend on fossil fuel for about 80% of the global energy supply, but thermal power generation emits more CO2 than other power generation methods because CO2 is produced when fossil fuels are burned. Therefore, we must step-up efforts to take measures to mitigate climate change by introducing the most advanced technology.

In addition to emitting less CO2 than methods using other types of fossil fuel, the importance of power generation using gas for fuel is increasing because shale gas is now available. Combined cycle thermal power generation, which fuses cutting-edge, high-efficiency gas turbine and high-performance steam turbine with a power generator, is a thermal power generation system that is more efficient than conventional types, and Toshiba is actively promoting the power generation equipment it has developed, which is the most efficient in the world.

Coal has a higher reserve-production ratio than other types of fossil fuel; for economic reasons, coal-burning thermal power generation is expected to be introduced widely throughout Asia and other regions in the years to come. In order to mitigate climate change, it is important to introduce high-efficiency power generation equipment. Toshiba Group is striving to further improve the efficiency of coal-burning thermal power generation by working to realize coal-burning thermal power generation plants using advanced ultra-supercritical (A-USC) steam turbines by developing materials that can withstand high temperatures of 700°C and carrying out tests to verify the strength of turbine equipment.

Furthermore, the Group is working to develop test equipment for use in growing agricultural products by capturing CO2 from incineration plants' exhaust gases as we strive to commercialize carbon capture and storage/carbon capture and utilization (CCS/CCU) technology. We are also working to develop a new thermal power generation cycle to make CO2 capture easy. In these ways, we are pushing forward with the development of next-generation thermal power generation technologies.

On the other hand, nuclear power generation, which does not emit CO2 when generating electricity, is positioned as an “important base-load electricity source” in the Japanese government's Basic Energy Plan. Toshiba Group has been involved in the construction of 112 nuclear power plants in 10 countries worldwide. In the United States and China, construction of new nuclear power plants is underway, and Toshiba is actively working to supply large-scale nuclear power generation equipment. At the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, we will contribute to initiatives for decommissioning the nuclear reactors, such as developing multi-radioactive nuclides removal systems to purify contaminated water quickly, using a remote-controlled robot to assess the site's condition, and removing debris from fuel pools.

Introducing renewable energy is a rising trend as we strive to mitigate climate change and cope with the depletion of fossil fuel resources. Toshiba Group has developed various power generation technologies, including those for photovoltaic, hydroelectric, geothermal, and wind power generation; we have delivered many systems using such technologies to our customers. We will work to further improve the efficiency of these technologies and systems as well as promote their proliferation.

In the area of hydroelectric power generation, in which we have delivered our systems in 40 countries worldwide, we are actively working to develop pumping-up power generation systems, which are effective for taking countermeasures against daytime peak electricity demand, as well as small hydroelectric power generation systems. In this way, we will continue to utilize hydroelectric power generation, the most widely used type of renewable energy.

We are also actively working to develop technology for wind power generation systems, which are expected to be introduced widely in the future, and photovoltaic power generation systems, which are coming into widespread use. Regarding photovoltaic power generation, we are striving to spread high-efficiency photovoltaic power generation systems ranging from large photovoltaic power plants, which have been introduced in greater numbers since the feed-in tariff system for renewable energy began, to those for industrial and residential use.

Going forward, as energy demand is expected to increase in emerging economies, Toshiba Group will continue to contribute to the realization of low-carbon societies at the global level by offering high-efficiency power generation equipment and helping expand supplies of renewable energy.

Since power generation using renewable energy is often affected by weather conditions and it is difficult to consistently obtain a fixed level of output, the effects of such power generation on the electric power system become a problem as the amount of electricity generated using such systems increases. To solve this problem, Toshiba Group is actively developing and commercializing stationary storage battery systems that combine monitoring and control technology (EMS) with storage batteries.

In the area of power transmission and distribution, which helps supply electricity to users such as factories, offices, and residences in a stable manner, Toshiba Group is working to develop a wide range of technologies based on know-how acquired through many test projects with the aim of realizing smart grids (next-generation power transmission and distribution systems), which are intended to optimize the balance between energy supply and demand mainly through effective use of renewable energy. Moreover, as an extension of these efforts, we will contribute to the realization of smart communities featuring water supply, gas supply, and transportation systems---this is the vision of communities that we aim to create in the future with smart grids.

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Aiming to increase sales of energy-related products to 1.9 trillion yen and reducing CO2 emissions by 490 million tons in FY2015

The Fifth Environmental Action Plan calls for Toshiba Group to address two indicators in the energy sector: the amount of CO2 emissions of energy-related products and sales of energy-related products.

Results of FY2013 and future initiatives

While we are making progress mainly by increasing CO2 emissions reductions through high-efficiency thermal power generation, some goals have not been attained due to delays compared to initial plans with respect to the start of operation of plants under construction. However, we aim to increase sales of energy-related products to 1.9 trillion yen and reduce CO2 emissions by 490 million tons in FY2015 by spreading high-efficiency thermal power generation and renewable energy, mainly through delivery of a combined cycle thermal power generation system to the Ishikari Bay new port power plant in Hokkaido and a power generation system to a geothermal power plant in Turkey. In this way, we will contribute to ensuring a stable power supply and mitigation of climate change.

Sales for energy-related products
[Image] Sales for energy-related products

Reduction in CO2 emissions through energy-related products
[Image] Reduction in CO2 emissions through energy-related products

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