(Reuters) - Japan is unlikely to reach its targets for atomic power and should make an all-out push for renewables to enhance energy security and cut emissions, the Japan Association of Corporate Executives says.
The Japanese government has a target for nuclear power to make up 20-22 percent of Japan’s electricity supply by 2030, down from 30 percent before Fukushima, but only two out of 42 operable reactors have re-started.
Below is a list of the main points in the policy document from the lobby group entitled "Towards the World's Leading Zero-Emissions Society: Measures for an Increased Deployment of Renewable Energy" (bit.ly/29Y9fzK)
* To achieve CO2 reductions and improve energy self-sufficiency, zero emission power sources of nuclear and renewables are essential.
* If 40-year rules for reactor operating life are strictly applied with no extension, even if all of Japan’s reactors are restarted, the nuclear ratio would be around 15 percent by 2030. With the likelihood of legal challenges the outlook for nuclear is uncertain, making it harder to meet the above targets.
* Noting that countries are increasingly targeting zero emissions for power generation and Japan’s goal to cut overall emissions by 80 percent by 2050, Japan should aim for much more than 50 percent zero emissions electricity after 2030. (Against a 42-46 percent goal for 2030)
* Therefore Japan should be removing hurdles to renewables development beyond solar, by cutting environmental assessment periods, reducing land restrictions and clarifying the roles of stakeholders in development zones as well as invest in transmission lines.
* Municipal and central governments should streamline lengthy approval processes, which have led to delays in introducing renewables.
* Government should create a one-stop advisory body to deal with these issues and expand subsidies or financing through government lenders and other measures beyond the current feed-in-tariff program.
* By emphasising locally sourced power for local use, costs will come down for transmission, investment will be directed to encourage research and innovation that will help revitalize regions outside major centers.
* In the era that is coming, coal cannot be relied on heavily as a base load power source because of its emissions.
* These issues cannot be left for future generations to deal with and a leap into renewable power requires all-out efforts from government, industry and citizens.
Note: The association is an influential business lobby and has a membership of about 1,400 senior executives from around 980 companies, including household names like Nissan Motor and ANA Holdings.
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