Challenges to Fukushima’s Goal of Meeting 100% of Energy Demand with Renewables
Fukushima Prefecture has positioned itself at the forefront of Japan’s low-carbon transition following the March 2011 triple disaster, becoming the Tohoku region’s leader in cumulative solar power generation since 2013.
“Fukushima took the lead after 2011 because of its direct experience with disaster and clear commitment by policymakers to quit nuclear energy and back renewables,” Senior Fellow Hikaru Hiranuma told the Japan Times. The single most influential policy in the initial boom in renewable energy, he noted, was the introduction of a feed-in-tariff program by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry in July 2012.
“This shows how important policy is for renewable energy development and the need for clear roadmaps by the government,” Hiranuma said. “In order to accelerate corporate investment in renewable energy, the central government needs to show a clear commitment to making renewable energy the mainstay,” cautioning that the government’s rekindling of nuclear energy could become a potential hindrance to renewables.
“Although renewable expansion has been going well in Fukushima, the 2040 target [to meet 100% of Fukushima Prefecture’s energy demand with renewables] remains ambitious,” says Hiranuma, who believes that key issues include a need to improve grid infrastructure and the absence of clear and coordinated decarbonization and energy policies at the national level.
“How a Nuclear Disaster Turned Fukushima into a Renewables Leader,” Japan Times
Profile of Senior Fellow Hikaru Hiranuma
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