Research towards increased implementation of renewable energy in Hokkaido
The international commitment of “-25% by 2020” made by Hatoyama Cabinet in 2009 was based on a scenario relying 40% of national electric power demand of Japan to nuclear power including building of nine new nuclear power plants. However, this scenario fell apart completely after Great East Japan earthquake of March 2011 and the accident at Fukushima nuclear power plant. For the time being it is necessary to manage with fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. However, they are exhaustible resources, majority of which is imported from abroad so that purchasing leads to drain of national wealth, with purchase cost going up to immense value with low yen rates, and they involve emission of CO2 which is believed to be the main cause of global warming and ocean acidification: therefore, this reliance needs to be lowered gradually. There is no national consensus on the timing of abandoning nuclear power generation, but regardless of the standpoint, there is no denying that there will be a demand to increase the implementation of renewable energy. If implementation is necessary anyway, it should be pushed forward to bring benefit to domestic businesses as much as possible in terms of advanced technologies and international standards. Furthermore, if implementation can be conducted in such a way to lead to a regional revitalization, this would result in strengthening of the realm through regional diversification of energy, so that this could become a measure beyond mere energy policy. Our laboratory works with motivated specialists and pragmatists from local industries, governments/municipalities, NGOs/NPOs, and academia of Hokkaido and carries out researches towards enhancing renewable energy implementation in Hokkaido, which holds vast renewable energy potential and where spatially it is easy to consider recycle-based society.
Updated on 2014/04/16