Donnerstag, 18. Oktober 2012

Update Japan: Prime Minister Noda - “Rocket Start” for Renewable Energy

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

Japanese Prime Minister Noda gave a speech on energy issues on Monday. It is published on the Prime Minister website hereI would like to discuss some of his thoughts here. For one, the “rocket start” line mentioned in this post’s title. In context, this was included in this paragraph:

本年末を目途に、大幅な省エネルギーの実現と再生可能エネルギーの飛躍的拡大に向けた具体的な行程を定めた「グリーン政策大綱」を策定いたします。新たな体制のもとで検討の布陣を整え、グリーンエネルギー革命を今からすぐにロケット・スタートさせ、世界に誇る低炭素社会を実現していきたいと考えています。
(My translation): With the end of this year as a deadline, we will decide on the “Guidelines for the Green Policy”, which will show the concrete steps involved in bringing about realization of energy efficiency and a rapid growth for renewable energy. Under a new system we will lay the grounds for the debate, assure a rocket start for the “Green Energy Revolution”, and realize a low carbon society we can be proud of to all nations in the World.

I like that “rocket start” line. It shows “language intelligence”. And using a metaphor from space travel seems adequate when talking about answers to global warming.

I also very much like the idea behind that metaphor of extremely fast development of renewable energy in Japan. Eventually all energy will come from renewable. But the point with climate change is to get there even one day faster.

Noda also mentions as one of the possible contributions from Japan in the fight against global warming that Japan has great technology for reducing the CO2 emissions from steel plants and coal power plants. As long as there is still fossil fired, all things equal, it of course helps to do so in the most efficient way.

Again, this shows that Noda sees not only Japan’s internal needs and goals, but asks what Japan can do for the world. I like this approach. It is exactly this kind of thinking that is behind my recent comment on the “Moral Case for High Feed-in Tariff Payments in Germany”.

He also leaves absolutely no doubts about the status of the recent “Revolutionary Energy and Environment Strategy”. He closes saying that this is a definite and fixed national strategy, and by asking the audience to help achieving a society not dependent on nuclear even one day earlier.

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