Mitsubishi Corporation (Head office: Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo; President: Katsuya Nakanishi; hereinafter “Mitsubishi”) and Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Head office: Nagaokakyo-shi, Kyoto; President: Norio Nakajima; hereinafter “Murata”) have agreed on a cooperative framework for working toward a carbon-neutral society.
This framework is being developed with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality at the global level, while introducing renewable energy at the company level to achieve a sustainable society. On the road to decarbonization, it is important to combine initiatives achievable in the short term (such as constructing more renewable energy generation facilities) with more long-term goals (such as developing technologies that utilize hydrogen), to maintain a continuous, stable supply of renewable energy from diverse energy sources. To this end, companies with strengths in different areas must work together to pave the way for the next generation of energy: promoting efforts toward practical adoption, starting with real-world testing.
Cooperation details (four areas)
Through this cooperation, Murata Manufacturing Group has agreed to procure 70,000 kW of power derived from renewable energy sources from Mitsubishi by 2025, another step toward our goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2050, and the specific details are currently being finalized. We will continue our discussions with Mitsubishi, with the aim of expanding the amount procured to 300 million kWh in the future. This cooperation is being concluded on the premise that the power is procured under the virtual power purchase agreement (virtual PPA) scheme that has just started in Japan. We will also continue to update our medium- and long-term initiatives based on the shared areas of concern in this cooperation.
Norio Nakajima, president of Murata Manufacturing, had this to say about the cooperative framework:
“Every company in the Murata Manufacturing Group is doing its part to promote the introduction of renewable energy, but many of the things that will be critical in the future are difficult to do alone, from a technical standpoint. Mitsubishi has a track record of bringing renewable energy to a large number of locations both in Japan and worldwide as part of its drive to tackle social issues, and it owns many businesses aimed at putting different types of energy into practical use. By combining the know-how of Murata and Mitsubishi, we hope to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society, and development of society in general.”
Mitsubishi President Katsuya Nakanishi commented:
“I am very pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement on a comprehensive framework of cooperation with Murata, which is already working on low-carbon/decarbonization initiatives to meet the RE100 targets. In May 2022, we announced our “Midterm Corporate Strategy 2024 – Creating MC Shared Value,” which promotes energy transformation (EX), digital transformation (DX), and a growth strategy of future creation (regional development/new industry generation) through the unified promotion of EX and DX. Through this comprehensive cooperation, Mitsubishi and Murata will work jointly to create value at scale and contribute to low-carbon/decarbonization and regional development in Japan.”
Virtual PPA Overview
Procurement of electricity from renewable energy sources
As part of our quest to convert all electricity consumed in the Murata Manufacturing Group’s business activities into renewable energy to meet the goals of the RE100 global environmental initiative, we will procure renewable energy from a new solar power generation facility operated by Mitsubishi.
Both companies have agreed that the scale of the solar power generation facility and amount procured will be approximately 70,000 kW by 2025, and are currently in the process of finalizing the terms of the procurement agreement. Together, we also aim to expand the amount of renewable energy procured to around 300 million kWh in the future.
In this agreement, the power derived from renewable energy sources supplied by Mitsubishi to Murata will be done through a method called virtual PPA, in which non-FIT non-fossil fuel energy certificates are traded directly between renewable energy providers and consumers. Furthermore, the power generation facilities involved in this cooperation will all be newly built, creating renewable energy provision with additionality that will contribute to domestic carbon neutrality targets.
Trial production and use of hydrogen
We will begin trialing the production and use of hydrogen at Murata’s plants in Japan, using an electrolyzer. By utilizing carbon-free electricity in the electrolysis process and using the resulting hydrogen, we hope to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come from manufacturing.
In the future, we also hope to supply hydrogen to the local communities where Murata’s domestic plants are located, with the aim of promoting decarbonization in the region.
Regional development with local communities
We aim to realize Murata’s pledge to “solve social issues in all our corporate activities and contribute to society through our business activities” and Mitsubishi’s “regional development through the unified promotion of EX and DX.”
In regions where Murata’s domestic plants are located, we contribute to solving regional social and industrial issues together with local authorities along the theme of creating attractive, autonomous, and decentralized towns.
Regulating power through the use of storage batteries
In anticipation of entering the power supply and demand regulation market through our cooperation with Mitsubishi, which has a proven track record in this sector, we will jointly trial regulating the power supply through the use of storage batteries installed at Murata plants.
By combining the proprietary power control technology used at Murata’s production plants with Mitsubishi’s knowledge of the electric power industry, we will strive to help resolve grid instability that may occur as the use of renewable energy increases.