Energy / Climate Change

September 30, 2011


MAFF Estimates Potential Renewable Energy at 425 Billion kWh in Rural Japan

Keywords: Government Policy / Systems Renewable Energy 

Up to 425 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energies can be potentially produced in rural areas of Japan, according to estimates prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). The estimates were submitted to the first meeting of the Energy and Environment Council held on June 22, 2011.

The breakdown is as follows: 58 billion kWh by solar photovoltaic systems; 168 billion kWh by onshore wind; 72 billion kWh by offshore wind; 4.5 billion kWh by biomass; 7 billion kWh by geothermal; and 27.5 billion kWh by small-scale hydro. This capacity is in addition to the 88 billion kWh currently being generated from existing renewable sources.

Furthermore, the estimates show that there are 396,000 hectares of abandoned farmland across the country, which includes 170,000 hectares of lands potentially capable of accommodating photovoltaic and wind power facilities. Similarly, approximately 20 million cubic meters of thinned wood are left unused every year, which can be a resource for wood biomass.

Out of the 1 trillion kWh of total electricity generation in Japan, MAFF has proposed that at least 20 percent, or approximately 200 billion kWh, be produced from renewable sources. The Ministry has identified five important aspects to be carefully considered in promoting renewable energies in the rural areas: (1) technologies to secure efficiency and stability in the energy production; (2) profitability of renewable energies; (3) revitalization of local communities by creating new employment and income; (4) optimal use of available resources without conflicting with food production and land conservation; and (5) disaster management for communities to maintain safety levels and municipal functions.

An Interactive Webcast with Japan's Prime Minister on Renewable Energy Policy: A First for Japan

Posted: 2011/09/30 06:00:15 AM