Japans government offers a future without nuclearenergy

Japan’s Scenarios for a Non-Nuclear Future

By Editors

The Japanese government has proposed three possible scenarios for its energy future in light of the widespread revulsionagainst nuclear energy in the wake of Fukushima. Last week the government held public hearings asking people to express their views. The results are illustrated in the chart above.

As illustrated in the left-hand bar chart, Japan currently gets 26 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, 63 percent from fossil fuels and 10 percent from “renewables,” almost entirely hydroelectricity. Wind and solar energy play an insignificant role. Future scenario 1 (second from left) would reduce nuclear energy to zero. Fossil fuels would be increased to 65 percent and renewables ramped up to 30 percent, almost all of it coming from new wind and solar generation. Scenario 2 (third from left) would retain 15 percent nuclear while reducing fossil fuels to 55 percent. Renewables would be increased to 30 percent. Scenario 3 would actually involve building new nuclear capacity, although the contribution would be reduced to 20-25 percent because of the retirement of older reactors. Renewables would be increased to a 25-30 percent contribution.

More than 1250 people responded to these proposals, both at public hearings and over the Internet. The numbers at the bottom measure the outcome. The overwhelming number of respondents (70 percent) want to get rid of nuclear power altogether. 11 percent favored a reduction of nuclear to 15 percent and 17 percent wanted to build new reactors. Another 2 percent suggested scenarios not envisioned by the government. As often happens, the public response may have been by people with extreme views. But public opinion in Japan has turned decisively anti-nuclear.

Phasing out nuclear, however, will not be easy. Japan has almost no fossil fuel resources and is entirely dependent on coal and gas imports. This has already pushed up the price of electricity so that some factories are now relocating to the Philippines and other Asian countries in search of cheaper energy. Ramping up wind and solar will be very challenging. “People really don’t understand the difficulty in promoting a wider use of renewable energy sources,” was the comment of one unnamed government official. For now, Japan seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place.  Public anti-nuclear sentiment is strong yet it is highly dependent on nuclear for its prosperity.  The country faces a difficult future.




About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email: occupy-think-tank@gmx.de
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