TokYO Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp. will sell renewable electricity certificates that buyers can use as offsets for their energy consumption, Nikkei has learned. Murata Manufacturing, an electronics components maker and major Apple supplier, will be the first to receive a certificate.
This will be Japan's first case of a virtual power purchase agreement. Mitsubishi is going to build a solar power plant, and provide generated electricity to the utilities market, and sell renewable energy certificates to those who want to use them as offsets. The certificate may not necessarily use renewable electricity, but it still acts as an offset.
Non-fossil fuel certificates have been on the Japan Electric Power Exchange since 2018, but they don't provide detailed information about the electricity being traded. The certificate from Mitsubishi will detail where and how the electricity is produced, and its veracity will be guaranteed by Mitsubishi.
By the end of March 2026, the trading house will invest more than 10 billion yen $74 million to develop 70 megawatt solar power plants in Japan.
Mitsubishi will sell certificates worth 100 million kilowatt-hours, and they will be gradually increased to 300 million kWh, or about 10% of Murata's annual power use.
Non-fossil fuel certificates typically trade for 0.3 yen per kWh. The certificates will be sold with a premium.
Companies are demanding that their suppliers step up their decarbonization efforts. Apple has set a plan to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions from the production and use of products by 2030, and has asked its business partners to use 100% renewable energy. Failure to achieve this goal could result in the loss of deals. Murata, a major supplier of the tech giant, is eager to respond to the requirement.
Virtual power supply agreements are already widely used in the U.S. and Europe. McDonald's has purchased certificates worth 380 megawatts from a number of renewable power plants, and they've been purchased from a number of renewable power plants. AT&T and EBay have used a similar mechanism to achieve their clean energy targets.