New power configuration in Japan

In Chapter3 of “The Carbon Efficient City”, Denmark is introduced as a successful country to improve energy self-sufficiency. I’d like to write current attempt for the power supply in Japan, because Japan is also trying to change their power configuration since Mar 2011.
Before experiencing great earthquake in Mar 2011, we believed that nuclear power plant was most economical and less emit carbon dioxide generator than other power plants. Actually, Japanese government encouraged to increase nuclear power plants and intended to export nuclear power plant technology to other developing countries. There are 54 nuclear power plants in Japan and it fulfills 20% of all electric demand. But the earthquake and Fukushima disaster had fundamentally changed our view and stance to nuclear power plants. Now, only one nuclear power plant is running. Other nuclear plants are idling and wait for political decision making. Radiation leaking from Fukushima nuclear plant has forced tens of thousands of people in the prefecture to flee their homes and still live in shelter.
Since after the incident, Japanese government has changed their energy policy, and they encourage the development of solar power, wind power and geothermal power plant. Government began providing grant to build new these natural energy power plants and buy electricity generated by these power plants with fixed price. These supports make it economically possible for private company and individual household to build and equip new natural energy power plants. Now many private company and public start buiding new natural power plants. Currently percentage of natural energy in Japan, excluding hydropower is only 2.5%, which is quite low level compared to the EU countries, such as Germany and Spain. Japanese government intends to increase natural energy portion to 20% of all demand by 2030. Currently, from the economical point of view, without grant and support from the government, it seems quite difficult to expand of building these natural energy power plants. In order to make natural energy have economic sense, it is necessary to improve the efficiency of natural energy generation and decrease initial cost to build these power plants. There is strong controversial in my country whether we can achieve these drastic improvements. I believe we can achieve these dramatic improvements with our technological capability. This is because Japan has a proven track record that had achieved economic growth by establishing energy-saving technology during oil-crisis of the 1970s. I think this time of drastic energy crisis is not only big challenge for Japan, but big business opportunity to establish low environmental impact and sustainable energy model. 01
This picture shows solar panels attached on the train station roof.


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