Donnerstag, 4. Oktober 2012

Japan's "Revolutionary Energy Strategy" on Efficiency and Renewable

 By Dr. Karl-Friedrich Lenz, Professor (Kyoju), Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo  

Japan has adopted a "Revolutionary Energy Strategy" on September 14, approved by the Cabinet the following week. The document (in Japanese) is available at the Prime Minister's website

Thommy Weiss / pixelio.de
Most of the comment in Western media about this was on the section on nuclear power. But the second section of the document adopts a new concept of a "Green Energy Revolution", and it is maybe even more important than the nuclear issue. It has this to say about energy efficiency goals (see the table at the top of page 9): 

Japan wants to reduce electricity consumption (compared to 2010) by 2% in 2015, 5% in 2020, and 10% in 2030. And it wants to reduce primary energy use by 4% in 2015, 8% in 2020, and 19% in 2030. 

To achieve that goal, the strategy wants to replace all lighting with LED by 2030. And increase the number of fuel cells in private homes from 10.000 in 2010 to 5.3 million in 2030. The latter goal is seen as important for achieving a decentralized structure where electricity is generated at home. One of the "revolutionary" concepts of the "Green Energy Revolution" is to move from a system of large centralized power plants to a distributed system where the individual citizen is not only a consumer, but actively producing energy. 

And on renewable energy, the document proposes the following goals. These are aggregate numbers. The strategy does not at this stage set any individual goals for solar or wind. 

In terms of renewable energy capacity (excluding hydro), Japan had 9 GW in 2010 and wants to get that up to 27 in 2015, 48 in 2020, and 108 in 2030. Generation is supposed to increase from 25 TWh in 2010 to 50 in 2015, 80 in 2020, and 190 in 2030. 

To reach these goals, the strategy decides on the following courses of action. The feed-in tariff system in place since July of this year is expected to attract money from a large variety of investors, and lead to cost reductions by mass production. Solar power and fuel cells will be introduced to all buildings with public functions. Approval procedures for wind and geothermal will be streamlined to avoid unnecessary delays. Use of solar thermal and other sources of thermal renewable energy will be promoted. 

This document is only a very rough sketch of the "Green Energy Revolution". The strategy paper closes the section with announcing that a more detailed concept will be presented before the end of this year. 

Stay tuned.

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