Sake Brewery in Yamanashi Shifts to Zero-Emission Hydroelectric Power

Yamanashi Meijo, a Japanese sake brewery in Hokuto City has eliminated its CO2 emissions from electricity by switching to the prefecture's hydropower plan.

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Yamanashi Meijo is a long-established sake brewery and producer of the Shichiken brand of Japanese sake, located in Hokuto City of Yamanashi Prefecture. On January 30, 2023, the company announced a shift of all electricity usage to that derived from hydroelectric power generation.

With this transition, the company's annual 510 tons of CO2 emissions from electricity use have been reduced to zero. The brewery is the first alcoholic beverage manufacturer in Yamanashi Prefecture to carry out such an initiative. And according to the company, it is only the second in Japan.

Electricity Consumption at the Sake Brewery

The brewery consumes a considerable amount of electricity to make its sake, including that used for washing rice, temperature control during fermentation, and refrigeration.

It has now switched its power supply over to the "Yamanashi Power NEXT Satoyama Hydropower Plan." This plan limits the power source to electricity generated by the Yamanashi Prefectural Enterprise Bureau's hydroelectric power plants.

sake brewery
Exterior view of the Yamanashi Meijo brewery in Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture, January 30, 2023 (©Sankei by Takashi Hirao).

The brewery's annual power consumption stands at approximately 1.13 million kilowatt hours. By switching to this hydroelectric power plan, the company brought its electricity-related CO2 emissions down to zero.

Surcharges Allocated for Conservation

The plan adds an extra charge to standard electricity rates to cover the prefecture's environmental conservation projects. This will account for an extra ¥1.15 million JPY in electricity costs for Yamanashi Meijo.

Varieties of Shichiken sake, including Junmai Daiginjo and Junmai Ginjo, Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture, June 19, 2017 (©Sankei).

At the press conference, CEO Tsushima Kitahara commented, "The only power sources we currently use are electricity and a boiler that uses LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). If we can confirm it's economically rational, we plan to switch the boiler to green hydrogen. Yamanashi Prefecture is a leader in type of energy, which does not emit CO2. In so doing, we can become a completely carbon-free brewing company."

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