Energy / Climate Change

January 18, 2012


Fifty Two Municipalities in Japan are Energy Self-Sufficient with Renewables

Keywords: Environmental Technology Local government NGO / Citizen Renewable Energy University / Research institute 

The Kurasaka Research Laboratory at Chiba University and the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, a Japanese non-profit organization, announced on December 28 2011, that a total of 52 municipalities now belong to "energy sustainable zones" of Japan between March 2009 and March 2010, according to their estimate (finalized version) of March 2010.

An energy sustainable zone is defined as an area where energy demands for households and business activities as well as for agriculture, forestry and fisheries can be completely satisfied by renewable energy generated within the area. The Tohoku Region, in the northern part of Japan, has a number of prefectures that are highly self-sufficient both in renewable energy and food.

Looking at the domestic supply of renewable energy sources by category, photovoltaic (PV) power increased by 36.1 percent (%) from the previous fiscal year, with the launch of the Excess Electricity Purchasing Scheme for PV Electricity in November 2009. Wind power and biomass power also continued to increase by 16.5% and 8.5%, respectively. Micro-hydropower (10,000 kilowatts or less), geothermal power and solar thermal power decreased slightly. All told, the domestic supply of renewable energy increased by a mere 4.2% from the previous fiscal year.

Professor Hidefumi Kurasaka and his group hope to expand the energy sustainable zone area, by ensuring local governments' independence on their energy policies, making effective use of the feed-in tariff system that will be improved in 2012, and implementing measures to promote the use of renewable energy heat sources.

Posted: 2012/01/18 06:00:15 AM