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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 February 3 - 9  > Gov’t ‘green growth strategy’ will not work to promote use of renewables
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2021 February 3 - 9 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Gov’t ‘green growth strategy’ will not work to promote use of renewables

February 6, 2021

The Prime Minister Suga-led government at the end of 2020 published its “green growth strategy” aiming to achieve a net zero emission of greenhouse gases by 2050.

In order to achieve this, it is important to increase the share of renewable energy electricity produced in Japan.

Under the newly published growth strategy, the government will designate 14 industries as key industries to help achieve a carbon-neutral Japan and provide preferential tax treatment to them. In addition, the government plans to use two trillion yen in tax money to establish a fund with the aim of attracting investments from both domestic sources and abroad. According to a government estimate, this strategy will lead to a positive economic effect of 90 trillion yen in 2030 and 190 trillion yen in 2050.

However, among the 14 key components, there are questionable industries included, such as the nuclear power-related industry, the semiconductor industry, and the information communication industry. On the other hand, among the 14 industries, those which represent the renewable energy sector are only the offshore wind industry and the industry focusing on next-generation solar technologies. As industries that supplement the renewable energy sector, the industry developing CO2-free fuels using ammonia and oxygen and the industry necessary to promote electrification of vehicles, airplanes, and ships through a storage battery system were selected.

On top of this, it is highly likely that the “green growth strategy” has a limited economic impact because in Japan, there are no wind turbine manufacturers and the production of solar panels has been ended. Furthermore, it is difficult to use effectively technologies to develop storage batteries and CO2-free fuels under a situation where the government target for the share of renewables is low.

The International Renewable Energy Agency consisting of 160 countries, including Japan, and the European Union stated that in order to achieve a carbon-free society by 2050, it is necessary for all countries to have renewables cover 86% of their electricity generation.

However, the Japanese government in its energy policy sets a goal of reaching 50-60% renewables in 2050. Japan lags behind other countries in the promotion of the use of renewable energy sources.

Past related article:
> On 5th anniv. of Paris accord, Japan should shift to full-scale expansion of use of renewables [ December 12, 2020]
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