Fukushima inks renewables pact

Kyodo

Fukushima Prefecture has signed an agreement with the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia to work together on promoting the use of renewable energy.

The prefecture, which hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, aims to introduce renewable energy technologies from Germany, a leader in the field, to achieve a society not dependent on nuclear power.

Fukushima Vice Gov. Fumio Murata was among those who attended a signing ceremony in Duesseldorf on Monday.

“We expect (the collaboration) will give further momentum” to the prefecture’s efforts, Murata said.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s environment minister, Johannes Remmel, said at the ceremony that Germany and Japan are technologically competent to accomplish worldwide successes in the field of renewable energy.

Fukushima and North Rhine-Westphalia will take turns hosting trade fairs featuring renewable energy businesses and promote joint research among businesses over the next three years.

After 3/11, Germany decided to stop all of its 17 nuclear reactors by the end of 2022. Renewable energy accounted for a record 23.4 percent of the total electricity generated in Germany last year.