Chubu Electric Power Co.'s Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station is seen in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, May 17, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: BUSINESS ENERGY ENVIRONMENT)
Chubu Electric Power Co Inc said on Friday it would invest up to 5 billion yen ($34 million) in a Canadian geothermal venture, Eavor Technologies Inc, as it moves to expand its renewable energy portfolio and fight climate change.
Within a few weeks, Chubu will invest between 1 billion and 5 billion yen ($7 million to $34 million) for a stake ranging from 10% to 20% in Eavor, according to its deputy chief executive of global business, Katsuji Sugimori.
Eavor's technology circulates water in a closed loop underground to extract heat efficiently even in areas where sufficient amounts of hot water or steam cannot be obtained by conventional geothermal means.
It can be used in a wide range of areas, and avoids the typical exploration risk stemming from a shortage of hot water or steam underground, Chubu said.
"We want to apply the technology in Japan in the future," Sugimori told a news conference.
The Canadian venture aims to commercialise two projects being developed, one in the United States and another in Germany, in 2024, Chubu said.
Eavor's investors include venture funds owned by global energy and metals producers such as BP (BP.L), Chevron (CVX.N), and BHP (BHP.AX).