Japan's NTT aims to expand renewable energy capacity to 7.5 GW by 2030

FILE PHOTO: The logo of NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation) is displayed at the company office in Tokyo, Japan, July 2, 2018. Picture taken July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) plans to boost its renewable energy capacity manifolds to 7.5 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 as the telecommunications giant steps up its energy business to drive growth, its spokesman said on Tuesday.

The move, which was reported earlier by Nikkei, comes as companies step up investment in green energy to tackle climate change and may boost competitions in Japan’s electricity market which has been liberalised since 2016.

“NTT group aims to boost renewable power capacity from 300 megawatts now to 7.5 gigawatts by 2030 as backup energy sources for our communication hubs and other users in case of natural disasters, and raise the ratio of renewable power in our energy consumption to 30% by 2030 from 4.5% now,” NTT spokesman Yuhei Ogaki said.

Most of additional capacity will come from solar and offshore wind power.

NTT has no plan to build its own electric power supply networks across the nation to compete with the existing utilities, but it intends to strengthen its energy business, especially in decentralization energy infrastructure, he said.

NTT Anode Energy, the group’s energy unit formed last year, has said it would spend 100 billion yen ($928 million) per year through 2025 to reinforce renewable energy and energy infrastructure.

NTT Anode Energy and trading house Mitsubishi Corp said in a joint statement on Tuesday they would collaborate in renewable energy and energy management services using electric vehicles and storage batteries.

They plan to install storage batteries at NTT’s communication hubs and some convenient stores of Lawson, which is 50% owned by Mitsubishi, to see if their infrastructure could provide cheaper electricity.

NTT Anode, together with Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings and others, unveiled a plan in April to build an emergency backup power system and a power supply network using direct current power transmission in Chiba, near Tokyo.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Rashmi Aich