Japan to reduce reliance on nuclear energy

Japan intends to reduce its reliance on nuclear energy – a factor attributed to its unrealistic current energy policy that, coupled with public outcry, underlines the public’s strong resistance to nuclear in Japan – according to several reliable sources w

31st May 2016

Japan to reduce reliance on nuclear energy

Japan intends to reduce its reliance on nuclear energy – a factor attributed to its unrealistic current energy policy that, coupled with public outcry, underlines the public’s strong resistance to nuclear in Japan – according to several reliable sources within the government.

Sources also said that Japan aims to embrace renewable energy and boost energy generation from coal as they move to develop a new energy policy.

This move has been triggered by a number of factors, one of which is the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and the subsequent reactor shutdowns for safety reasons. Only two out of the country’s 42 reactors are presently in use. The Japanese nuclear energy industry is also bedevilled with legal challenges and aging units.

A new report on Japan’s energy outlook is expected to be released by early 2017, which should outline the country’s new energy policies and address industry concerns by creating a new path to renewable energy. The existing policy proposes that 20-22 percent of the country’s energy will come from nuclear sources by 2030, but the new policy is expected to push for 10-15 percent. This is a significant climb-down.

According to Professor Tomas Kaberger of Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, a reduction in nuclear energy means a rise in renewable energy.

“There is a more realistic attitude toward nuclear power taking hold in Japan, so it would not surprise me to see a significantly larger role for renewable energy in the next energy plan,” said professor Kaberger, who is also the chairman of the Renewable Energy Institute, Tokyo.

Professor Kaberger added that the increased competitiveness of renewable energy is a key factor in the change in policy.

All having been said and done, the onus is now upon the government to draft the report and present it to stakeholders as promised. The implementation process will be followed keenly by stakeholders until then.     

Published by Green Jobs Online - 31st May 2016

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