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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 October 18 - 24  > Nuclear power-free Japan becoming real issue
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2017 October 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Nuclear power-free Japan becoming real issue

October 23, 2017
Akahata 'Morning breeze' column

Japan’s renewable energy industry appears to be gaining much momentum. During the three months from January 2017, many plans to construct wind and biomass power plants obtained approval from the government. As a result, for each of the two power generation technologies, the electricity output capacities of all approved facilities combined has more than doubled. Plant constructions approved this year will be completed in around 2020.

The Abe government has set a goal of increasing the percentage of electricity generated by renewables to 20-22% of the total by 2030. Given the recent developments in the renewable energy industry, however, the goal will most likely be achieved nearly ten years earlier than the set deadline. The government should replace the goal with a much more ambitious one in next year’s review of the basic energy plan. The rapid growth in natural energy resources is paving a way for a nuclear power-free and low-carbon emission country. Japan’s need to depart from nuclear power generation and coal-fired thermal power generation is becoming a pressing issue.

It is important to enable the sustainable energy industry to develop further. What is important is to promote public movements to urge the government to revise its basic energy plan to one seeking for a Japan free from both nuclear reactors and carbon-intensive power plants. At the same time, it is also essential to keep an eye on the renewable energy industry so that the projected increase in renewable power plants will benefit local communities without causing pollution.
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