The world's third largest economy is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels Photo: AFP/File

Japan ups 2030 renewables goal in draft energy policy


Japan aims to hike its 2030 renewable energy target as part of efforts to slash emissions, according to draft documents released Wednesday, but activists described the planned goal as "disappointing".

The blueprint of the nation's energy policy sets a higher target of 36-38 percent of power supplies coming from renewable sources such as solar and wind by fiscal 2030 -- up from the current goal of 22-24 percent.

Major firms including Sony, Panasonic and Nissan had in January called for the government to make the target twice as ambitious at 40-50 percent.

The world's third-largest economy is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels, in part because many nuclear reactors remain offline after the Fukushima meltdown a decade ago.

The documents released Wednesday by Japan's ministry of economy, trade and industry said the new target would make renewables the majority of the country's energy mix.

Greenpeace described the draft as "disappointing" and criticized Japan for "failing to commit to ending fossil fuel" despite setting a 2050 deadline for carbon-neutrality last year.

"The revision of the Basic Energy Plan is a pivotal point to demonstrate Japan's political will to achieve net-zero by 2050," Hisayo Takada, program director at Greenpeace Japan, said in a statement.

"However, the draft plan is disappointing as it is not anywhere near sufficient to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target," Takada added, referring to the goal for global warming in the 2015 Paris agreement.

The draft policy left the ratio of nuclear energy unchanged at 20-22 percent.

Thermal power supplies should account for 56 percent, down from the present target of 41 percent, it said.

The government aims to hold further discussions and finalize the policy in October, according to public broadcaster NHK.

In fiscal 2019, renewables accounted for 18 percent of Japan's energy mix, with fossil fuels accounting for 76 percent and nuclear power six percent.

© 2021 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Why aren’t there wind turbines on top of the skyscrapers in every major city in Japan ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Solar panels on as many buildings as possible. Geothermal energy as well.

More wind energy would help as would finding ways to use less energy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd fit solar panels immediately if the government gave me an interest free loan for 15 years and a warranty on the panels. Installers won't give me a warranty because our area gets snow. My roof is 45 degrees, so the snow slides off before 10cm accumulates.

I can guarantee that my plan would provide more power far more cheaply than most things the government will finance, nuclear and court cases about restarting nuclear included.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan can make use of Wave energy...

Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan have been generating electricity through currents, using special underwater turbines. On Sept. 20, they announced that their project—dubbed Sea Horse—was a success and ready for commercial application. Making waves work for us.Sep 25, 2017

Wave energy can be harnessed by underwater turbines ...

as well as Tidal energy

Japan has entered the tidal power age with a pilot turbine installed in the waters of the Goto Islands archipelago having clocked up is first hours of generation following installation late last year by developer Kyuden Mirai Energy (MRE).Feb 15, 2021

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Geothermal is not only a clean source of energy, it provides local employment, and does not rely on imported coal, oil, or gas

The experience in the US at least is that geothermal power can deplete groundwater resources fairly rapidly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


I heard that much of the the roadblocks faced by the expansion of geothermal power in Japan is due to the majority of sites being around protected forest habitats and concerns by onsen owners due to their proximity driving customers away.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The article in the hyperlink says that Japan has the potential to be the third-largest producer of geothermal energy in the world, at 23,000MW.

Instead, Japan produces only 500MW of geothermal energy, making it tenth in the world.

Geothermal is not only a clean source of energy, it provides local employment, and does not rely on imported coal, oil, or gas.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Likely, it is going to fail again.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How about reducing your dependency on foreign non-renewable energy resources?

Nope. Can't do that when the majority of your nuclear reactors are shut down. Japan was on its way to sourcing more than 40% of their electricity through nuclear. But then Fukushima hit.

Really you should expect Japan's dependance on foreign non-renewable energy sources to grow in the future as you need more coal/natural gas plants to provide reserve power due to the intermittancy of future installed renewable power sources.

Maybe if Japan can feasibly introduce deep offshore floating wind turbines (that provide more powerful and reliable output) on a large scale, things may be better. But I have my doubts

0 ( +1 / -1 )

still stuck with a 1970s view of the the world!

Conspicuous consumption is almost as strong today, as it was in the 1970's.

Still, an economy built on consumption of huge amounts of all sorts of goods and services, is what the 'leaders' here and throughout the world seem to want.

when many rulers and their followers continue to NOT believe there might be such a thing as resource shortages, expect more resource shortages caused in part by over-consumption, poor leadership, and poor resource management. And also caused by global climate change.

Future generations will inherit a world different from that seen by previous generations, and though they might fondly remember their own grandparents, it's doubtful they will have much good to say about the ways their parents and grandparent's generations mishandled the planet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How about reducing your dependency on foreign non-renewable energy resources? How about providing a healthier quality of air for your children and future citizens? How about reducing global warming? How about reducing rising sea levels? How about the Japanese people start voting for different politicians! Japan is a dithering old man too scared of change, still stuck with a 1970s view of the the world!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Lets watch money be dropped into a black hole...

Unfortunately, Japan fails to execute on many initiatives. Cant change what you fail to see.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good, again, Go Japan !!..

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

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