Collection and provision of information
JOGMEC conducts promotional programs for the general publicʼs understanding of the geothermal development in addition to providing the results of surveys and technological development to assist Japanese companiesʼ efforts for geothermal development.
Cooperation with foreign agencies
JOGMEC started joint research on the enhanced geothermal system technology with the Electric Power Research Institute in the U.S. in 2014.
JOGMEC participates in the International Energy Agency Geothermal Implementing Agreement (IEA-GIA) with 19 countries and agencies and exchanges technologies and information on improving and developing geothermal technology, in addition to publicizing information and the advantages of geothermal energy.
Exchange of information and technology with Iceland
Geothermal development in Japan
Current Situation of Geothermal Power Generation
As of 2017, there are 51 geothermal power plants in operation with the capacity of approx. 500MW in Japan. Matsukawa Geothermal Power Plant, commenced in 1966, is the first plant of 23.5MW in Japan. Hacchobaru Geothermal Power Plant, the largest geothermal power plant in Japan, has a total capacity of 110.2MW.
Until very recently, after Hachijojima Geothermal Power Plant was constructed to start operation in 1999, no major geothermal power plants have been constructed except for several small-scale plants, newly constructed to start operation in 2015 are Sugawara Binary Plant of 5MW and Tsuchiyu Binary Plant of 0.4MW.
While in terms of geothermal potential Japan has approximately 23,000MW, estimated to be the third largest in the world. its geothermal installed capacity is ranked tenth in the world in 2015.
Issues and countermeasures
There are many issues to be solved to promote geothermal development. The Japanese government and JOGMEC encourage geothermal development through deregulations and supports.
Natural parks and deregulation
About 80% of geothermal resources exist inside natural parks and geothermal development has been regulated in Japan. However the regulation has been gradually eased since 2012. Thus, the prospective area for geothermal development increased from about 25% to 60% of the whole country.
Improvement of economic efficiency and support system
The feed-in-tariff (FIT) system was introduced in Japan in June 2012. Under the system, purchase price of electricity produced by geothermal energy is set at 26 yen/kW for 15,000kW or larger, and 40 yen/kW for under 15,000kW(both excluding tax). Thus, the economic environment toward geothermal development has been improved to a certain extent.
Agencies related to geothermal resources