Seiichi Suzuki, vice-president of Katsurao Electric Power, calls the village Japan's "first autonomous community with a micro-grid". Photo Credit: Philip Fong/AFP

Environment Japan5. May 2022

Overtaking Nuclear with Renewable Energy: The Future Looks (Very) Green!

In the wake of the disastrous meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, authorities are investing in renewable energy sources in the prefecture to completely phase out the nuclear from their energy arsenal, hoping to be carbon neutral by 2050.

“A strong desire to never see a repeat of such an accident was the most important starting point” for the green energy drive, says Noriaki Saito, energy director at the prefecture’s planning department.

Solar panels have been installed along the northern coastline of the stricken power plant. Hydrogen – a clean fuel that could help Japan to reach its carbon neutrality goal of 2050 – is being made at the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field since 2020. Also, micro-grids – where electricity is produced and consumed in the same place – are appearing, for example in Katsurao, located on the outskirts of Fukushima, where a former rice field now hosts a solar farm whose electricity is directed to the village. In 2011, only 24% of Fukushima’s energy consumption was from renewables and in 2020, that number reached 43%. By aiming at meeting its energy needs with renewable energy, authorities want Fukushima’s residents to reclaim their space.

France 24

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