Post-Fukushima Japan on verge of renewable energy revolution – Greenpeace
RELEASE ENERGY 2016.02.29

Post-Fukushima Japan on verge of renewable energy revolution – Greenpeace

Tokyo, 29 January 2016 – Japan is on the verge of an energy revolution, just five years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, but is still being held back by conflicting government policies that unfairly favour coal and nuclear, according to a new Greenpeace Japan report.

“Nearly a year after the nuclear disaster, Fukushima Prefecture pledged to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2040. But the policies that the Japanese government is currently promoting are heading in the opposite direction,” said Ai Kashiwagi, Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Japan.

“The recent boom in solar energy shows that the right government policy can translate to tangible changes on the ground, but other renewables such as wind are lagging and the government continues with the restart of nuclear despite multiple safety problems and widespread opposition from the public.”

Greenpeace proposes crucial measures Japan’s government must to take set the country on the road to 100% renewables, including unbundling of the transmission and distribution operations from generation and retail sales as soon as possible. From 1 April this year, households will be able to choose their energy suppliers for the first time, but a recent Greenpeace Japan preliminary results from a survey has shown that there are currently no providers offering 100% renewable energy.

“The Japanese government is acting to protect the interests of the dirty utilities rather than supporting the people of Japan in their ambitions for a safe and clean energy system. Japan needs to give renewables priority access to the grid and stop wasting resources trying to restart nuclear plants.”

Since the introduction of the Feed in Tariff (FIT) in 2012, solar power has boomed. For the 2015 fiscal year alone, solar power capable of generating an estimated 13 TWh was newly installed. This is more than the two Sendai reactors that were restarted that year can produce – a speed of expansion that not even Greenpeace Japan had anticipated.

At the same time, Japan’s nuclear utilities have lobbied hard for the right to block access to the grid for renewable power plants whenever they deem it necessary to preserve grid stability. The fluctuating output of renewables is right now incompatible with the inflexible output of old nuclear reactors the government is trying to restart, despite evidence that it will be practically impossible bring enough nuclear power plants online to reach the government’s nuclear power target of 20-22% by 2030.

Media contacts:

Kendra Ulrich, Senior Global Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Japan, email: kendra.ulrich@greenpeace.org , mob: +81 9064 785 408

Chisato Jono, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Japan, email: chisato.jono@greenpeace.org, mob: +81 (0)80-6558-4446

Greenpeace International Press Desk, pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org, phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470(available 24 hours)

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