Japan’s renewable future: dropping nuclear, investing $500bn in renewable energy

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the horrific Tōhoku tsunami, Japan is about to begin an amazing transformation (source LA Times):

The Japanese government announced a dramatic turn in its energy policy Friday, vowing to make the densely populated island nation nuclear-free by the 2030s.

Last year’s tsunami-triggered disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power complex forced evacuation of more than 160,000 and contaminated huge swaths of territory north of Tokyo. Prior to the accident, nuclear plants provided nearly a third of Japan’s power generation and the government had planned to increase that proportion to more than half.

In unveiling the new policy, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda acknowledged that the vast majority of Japanese support the zero option on nuclear power. The new blueprint calls for investing almost $500 billion over the next two decades to expand renewable sources like wind and solar power, the NHK broadcast network reported.

The energy plan sets forward a three-pronged approach to phasing out nuclear power generation after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that inundated the Fukushima plant and set off the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986 in Ukraine.

This is why the 21st century is the Asian century, as America and the West continue to fall behind. We’ve become complacent thinking the habits of the past will remain unchanged. We’ve believed the view of the “sceptics” – too timid and scared to embrace the knowledge that climate change is real – that turning away from fossil fuels would ruin our economies and way of life.

The sad thing is that it took the loss of 15,000 lives and country-wide devastation to prompt this move: but we have certain knowledge that climate change is real, and that choices are available.  

Can we end are dependence on fossil fuels and coal?

Yes we can.

4 thoughts on “Japan’s renewable future: dropping nuclear, investing $500bn in renewable energy

  1. uknowispeaksense says:

    Of course what the backward thinking windbaggers and their ilk don’t realise is that China is also moving towards renewables and at some point, will no longer require our coal. So, while they chant drivel about switching to renewables ruining our economy, one can only wonder what the over-reliance on a trading partner who no longer requires the material that provides a major source of income, will do to the economy? Surely proactivity is cheaper than reactivity. I have a nephew who was painfully shy as a young child and whenever he went to a playgroup or a birthday party, he would cling to his mother’s leg rather than play with the other children. By the time he finally plucked up the courage to join the other kids, most of them were heading home and the time to play was over. Deniers want our government to be my shy nephew, too afraid to act until it’s too late and there’s noone left to play with.

  2. Skeptikal says:

    Yep, Japan is leading the way… in coal fired power.

    “The importance of thermal power generation will increase “for the time being” as renewable energy is expensive and often unstable, the government said in the report. To accelerate replacement of old thermal power plants, the government plans to simplify environmental assessments to shorten the approval process for new plants to 12 months from three years.”

    From this news item…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-14/japan-draws-curtain-on-nuclear-energy-following-germany.html

    So while the Japanese government flushes $500bn down the renewable toilet, Jananese energy companies will be busy building new coal fired power plants.

    Can we end are dependence on fossil fuels and coal?

    Only a fool would say ‘yes’.

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