The Environment Ministry aims to rapidly expand renewable energy sources for the nation’s power generation, according to its draft plan to promote such energy.
The ministry has designated the plan as “green growth,” expecting such a trend will boost the nation’s economy by expanding the green energy market.
However, there are many challenges to realize the plan, in which the ministry has set numerical targets for power generation using four kinds of renewable resources in 2030.
For instance, offshore wind power generation is heavily affected by weather. Coordination with local fisheries cooperatives concerning fishing rights also poses a challenge.
For geothermal power generation, another energy source in the ministry’s plan, it will take time to obtain approval for the construction of geothermal power plants, as most of them would be built in national parks, where development is strictly restricted.
Establishing the necessary power grid systems for transferring electricity generated by renewable energy sources is estimated to cost several trillions of yen. The increased cost of power generation, which would be reflected in electricity bills, is thus also a concern.
It is too early to say whether it is possible to generate enough electricity to meet the nation’s needs without relying on nuclear power, if the plan is realized.
Many government officials have said nuclear power plants are necessary to ensure a power supply for the nation. The administration of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will need to promote debates on a realistic expansion of renewable energy sources.
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