Japan’s new energy plan
After nuclear catastrophe in Northeastern Japan, that country may have a bit different shaped energy policy investing more in solar power technology, alternative energy of biomass and wind turbines. Previous plan to increase the number of nuclear power plants across the Japanese mainland is very likely to be abandoned paving the way for cleaner and probably much expensive green energy. Now it is questionable if it will be expensive more than damage caused by earthquakes with high Richter magnitudes this year. Those earthquakes triggered deadly tsunamis and destructed coastal power plants, towns and cities.
Shakes with recent terrible events, Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan has recently said that all renewable energy sources, among them mostly wind power will play much more important role in near future to the world’s third largest economy.
Wind turbines, solar power and biomass should become a new pillar of Japan’s energy policy while recent plans to increase the number of nuclear power plants operating in the nation should be now be dismissed, Kan said last Tuesday.
Prime Minister also suggested that the entire nation needs to do more on creation and implementation of energy saving society.
A statement from his office noted that existing nuclear energy facilities and fossil fuels — currently two major energy sources in island — would continue to be used to create electricity for the nation of almost 130 million residents.
Until the three related disasters struck Japan in February and March, Japan’s government had planned to increase the number of operating nuclear power plants doubling the contribution of nuclear power in total power produced, by 2030s. Nuclear power plants give 24% of total electricity in Japan today.
I would like to add natural energy and energy saving as two major pillars and to exert further efforts to achieve them, while promoting safety on nuclear energy and reducing CO2 on fossil fuels. Based on these thoughts, I would like to accelerate the discussion on reviewing the overall energy policy, Kan was quoted as saying.
Japanese Wind Energy Association (JWEA) wants to increase capacity of wind farm plants scaled up to 50 GW by 2050, from the current capacity of 2.3 GW. Onshore and offshore wind farms would have eventually same contribution – about 25GW each.
JWEA Director Yoshinori Ueda reportedly said he personally believed an expanded wind power sector could provide 50GW before 2040. He added, however, the wind power sector requires a feed-in-tariff in order to attract investment that will drive rapid expansion.
Japan is not the only country reassessing its position on nuclear power in the past two months.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ordered no new nuclear plants be built, temporarily closed seven facilities and demanded security reviews of the nation’s remaining 10 plants. She also established an “ethics committee” to look further into the question, which recently said a phase-out of all the country’s nuclear capacity was possible by 2021.
- Pursuing Alternative Forms of Energy
- Two sides of renewable energy
- Alternative energy use
- Wind turbine pioneers
- Developing nuclear power as alternative energy