Contributing to the Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Through the Renewable Energy Business

Basic Policy

Sumitomo Forestry joined the international RE100 initiative that aims for 100% renewable energy in March 2020. We aim to utilize 100% renewable energy for the electricity used in our Group business activities and for the fuel used in our power generation operations by 2040.

The Sumitomo Forestry Group is advancing renewable power generation by establishing solar power generation systems at model homes as a prerequisite for power use at companies in addition to its wood biomass power generation and solar power generation businesses.

In fiscal 2019, the combined output of power generation that resulted from all of these efforts was 488,310,000kWh.

* CO2 emission reductions compared to the electricity purchased from power companies. These emissions are calculated using the CO2 emission coefficients of mainly Hokkaido Electric Power and Tohoku Electric Power.

Trends in the Amount of Renewable Energy Generation*1

*1 Results are only for solar power generation in fiscal 2015

*2 The amount of electricity generated from wood biomass power generation covers only consolidated subsidiaries and includes the use of coal as an auxiliary fuel to ensure smooth operation and maintenance

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Wood Biomass Power Generation Business

The Sumitomo Forestry Group operates wood biomass power generation facilities that are fueled by recycled chips primarily using leftover from construction as raw materials, wood not suitable as a building material, and thinning leftover in forests and other unused forest resource.

The CO2 emitted by burning wood does not contribute to CO2 in the atmosphere as part of the life cycle of the timber because the CO2 in the atmosphere is absorbed through photosynthesis as the trees grow (concept of carbon neutrality). Therefore, the Group has been engaged in wood biomass power generation as a type of business that contributes greatly to the advancement of forestry, such as the effective use of wood, reductions in CO2 emissions and the maintenance of local forest environments.

In February 2011, the Sumitomo Forestry Group entered this sector with the operation of the urban-oriented Kawasaki Biomass Power Generation Plant (generation capacity: 33 MW), which primarily uses scrap construction wood as fuel. Thereafter, full operations began at the Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant in December 2016 with a generation capacity of 50 MW, the Tomakomai Biomass Power Generation Plant in April 2017 with a generation capacity of 6.2 MW and the Hachinohe Biomass Power Generation Plant in April 2018 with a generation capacity of 12.4 MW. All of these plants generate power primarily from unused forest resource from Japan. Once the Kanda Biomass Power Generation Plant begins full operation in 2021, the Group will have a total power generation capacity of roughly 177 MW, which will supply electricity to approximately 374,000 households.

Drawing on past experience in the wood biomass power generation business, the Group will continue to expand renewable energy business operations suited to local conditions and other requirements, aiming to build a power generation system with a capacity of 300MW primarily generated from wood biomass.

Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant

Hachinohe Biomass Power Generation Plant

The Group's Wood Biomass Power Generation Business

Business Location Power generation capacity Start of operations Main features
Kawasaki Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Joint Electric Power Co., Ltd. and Fuluhashi EPO Corporation)
Kanagawa Prefecture
Kawasaki City
33MW February 2011
  • Largest biomass power generation facility in Japan that primarily burns scrap wood as fuel
  • Utilizes recycled chips produced from construction debris and waste pallets from Tokyo and surrounding suburbs, as well as pruned branches
  • Equipped with environmental mechanisms, such as flue gas desulfurization equipment, an exhaust gas denitrizer and a bag filter, the urban-sourced biomass power generation plant clears Kawasaki City's strict environmental standards
Mombetsu Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Joint Electric Power Co., Ltd.)
Mombetsu City
50MW December 2016
  • Unused timber and forest material is primarily procured from within a 75km radius of the power plant and turned into chips at an adjacent plant before being used as fuel.
  • Palm kernel shell, plus some coal is also partially used as an auxiliary fuel
Tomakomai Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Iwakura Corporation and Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd.)
Tomakomai City
6.2MW April 2017
  • All of the fuels are from unused forest resource in Hokkaido.
Hachinohe Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co., Ltd. and East Japan Railway Company)
Aomori Prefecture
Hachinohe City
12.4MW April 2018
  • Unused forest resource from forestlands in the Sanpachi-Kamikita-Shimokita region of Aomori Prefecture, timber offcuts, and railway forest thinnings from the nearby railway lines will be used as the main source of fuel
  • Some palm kernel shell will be used
Kanda Biomass Power Generation Business
A joint capital venture between Renova Inc., Veolia Japan K.K., Kyuden Mirai Energy Co. Inc., and Mihara Group K.K.
Fukuoka Prefecture
Miyako District
74.9MW June 2021
  • Fuel uses thinnings and unused forest resource from northern Kyushu in addition to American pellets and Indonesian palm kernel shell

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Solar Power Generation Business

Sumitomo Forestry owns a solar power generation facility that generates 3,429 kW in Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The Company gives consideration to mitigating the environmental impact of the power generation facility and expanding applications for the use of timber by installing some wooden mounting frames that are mainly made of domestically produced Japanese cedar.

Solar panels and environmentally friendly wooden frames

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Sustainability Report