In the year since a devastating earthquake and Tsunami hit north-eastern Japan, the country has had to confront some previously unimaginable challenges. One is that its entire energy policy, upon which the future of the nation depends, was destroyed along with the nuclear power plant at Fukushima. The plan had been to expand nuclear power’s contribution from one third of electricity generation to one half by 2030. This now seems almost impossible. Where does this leave Japan’s long-term energy future?
This question was the starting point for this paper. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) asked prominent figures from research, industry and academia to consider Japan’s long-term energy future, taking their analysis beyond the contentious factors that are presently the focus of much heated debate. Their contributions, in the form of essays and in-depth interviews, tackle the fundamental issues Japan must consider when plotting a sustainable and secure energy future. These include: the strategic necessities of a national energy plan; prospects for renewable energy; how to encourage greater energy efficiency; how to meet the energy needs of industry and commerce; challenges in reforming generation and distribution; and what Japan can learn from other countries’ energy strategies.
GE Japan was the sponsor of this project but had no editorial input into any of the sections below, which are solely the work of the authors.