Japan Will Turn to Renewable Energy After Fukushima

Japan’s Prime Minister said Tuesday that renewable energy will play a larger role as the country reassesses its energy policy in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that caused the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in the northeast part of the country.

"The current basic energy policy envisages that over 50% of total electricity supply will come from nuclear power while 20% will come from renewable power in 2030, "Prime Minister Naoto Kan told a news conference. "But that basic plan needs to be reviewed now from scratch after this big incident."

He went on to say that it is necessary to promote renewable energies like wind, solar and biomass. 

Japan currently lags in renewable energy production. In 2010, the government unveiled an energy plan that called for construction of 14 new nuclear reactors by 2030. But public sentiment and political will have turned against nuclear power over the last month and a half, as Japanese engineers continue working to contain the melt-down threat posed by four of the six reactors at Fukushima.

Meanwhile, in the US, the CEO of Southern Company (NYSE: SO) said Wednesday that the Japanese disaster could lead to changes at an existing nuclear plant in Georgia that is similar in design to the plant that malfunctioned in Japan. 

Southern company is also in the process of building two new reactors in Georgia, supported by roughly $8 billion in loan guarantees from the US Department of Energy. 

The future of US nuclear policy remains unclear. Before the Fukushima disaster, the Obama administration called for greatly increasing DOE lending authority for new nuclear power plants. The administration has been relatively quiet on the subject in recent weeks, even as the DOE announced that it is winding down the loan guarantee program for large-scale renewable energy projects.

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Comments on “Japan Will Turn to Renewable Energy After Fukushima”

  1. OTON TISCH

    Unfortunately, Mr. KAN’s is simply blah – blah

    Renewable Energy is surly a very promising issue as a complement of more conventional power plants
    but most surly not able to sustitute Nuclear Plants totalling 20,000 MW or more.

    See this:
    SOLAR Photovoltaic

    Approx. 6.5 Km2 land surface are needed for rated
    100 MW. But in a country like Japan, in the best location, due to cloudiness and seasonal reasons, only an average of 30MW will be available as for 12 hours, zero at night and of course, not even so much can be guaranteed a peak hours.
    So, even if we take 40 MW per 6.5 Km2, 20,000,000
    KW would mean, in a mountainous country like Japan, (20,000 /40) x 6.5 = 3,250 Km2 adequated flat land, nearly all at the main island
    HONSHU, which in the densely populated area,will be hardly available

    Using other Solar technology, this could be somewhat reduced, but not much

    Windmill plants being totally unreliable from the power output regularity point f view are hardly a big scale solution.

    Possibly, geothermic could provide some help, but also not in such dimensions

    But it is not necessary to ditch nuclear plants: only assure that irresponsible and incapable entities as TEPCO, as well also irresponsible Japanese Governments as until now, are NOT in charge!!

    Reply
  2. bbas

    Definitely Solar is not suitable for Japan. Japan can exploit wind and waves as well as geothermal to easily cover it’s energy needs and of-course energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption will lower significantly energy needs.

    Reply

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