Methane hydrates: Japan's shale gas or political distraction?

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Report summary

Japan is moving forward with plans for new methane hydrates tests in 2015, and the Japanese government has set a target to commercialise its methane hydrates resources between 2023 and 2027. Post the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Japanese government has intensified efforts to develop alternative energy sources, including the promotion of methane hydrates as part of its energy policy. However, its ambitious commercialisation target is at risk of being missed.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Methane hydrates: Japan's shale gas or political distraction?

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Table of contents

    • Japan - world leader in methane hydrates research and development
    • Meeting the commercialisation deadline will be challenging
    • Technology must advance quickly, but with little funding
    • Greater understanding of environmental impact of extraction required
    • Costs need to fall significantly
    • Is Japan spending enough?
  • Conclusion

Tables and charts

This report includes 3 images and tables including:


  • Map: Countries actively undertaking R&D activity to develop their methane hydrate resources
  • Japan's methane hydrates resource commercialisation timeline
  • Chart 1: Japan's fuel import costs for power generation 2011 - 2014

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