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Ruling parties want over 20% of power from clean energy by ’30

Bloomberg

Ruling parties want clean energy to make up “significantly” more than 20 percent of the nation’s power by 2030.

The Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, its coalition party, have been reviewing a draft of the country’s long-term energy policy plan presented by the government in February.

The parties agreed that they want the target to be included in the final plan, said Taku Yamamoto of the LDP at a briefing Friday. Their goal uses a stronger expression than the “more than 20 percent” target suggested by officials of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yamamoto said.

It is not certain if the parties’ suggestion will be included in the energy policy unchanged. Yamamoto said a requested meeting with the trade minister to discuss the wording has not yet taken place.

Environment Minister Nobu-teru Ishihara said that the country should clearly state the clean energy target of 30 percent by 2030 in the plan, Kyodo News reported Friday. The ministry issued a statement after the remark was made saying the target the minister mentioned is something that should be considered after the energy plan is completed.

The original draft of the energy plan does not include targets for any types of energy sources such as nuclear and gas. The Komeito party, which has been campaigning to include a clean energy target, wants something that shows Japan’s will to reduce its dependency on nuclear power, Tetsuo Saito of the junior coalition partner said.

Japan had envisaged in its 2010 plan that nuclear will generate 53 percent of its power by 2030. Those targets were put on hold after the 2011 Fukushima disaster as it reviewed its energy policies amid public opposition to nuclear power and plants were idled. Clean energy was to supply 21 percent.

The government has set incentives for solar and wind power generation, even as Japan, a resource-poor nation, has seen its energy import bill rise sharply since the shuttering of its atomic plants.

Before the Fukushima accident, nuclear provided more than a quarter of Japan’s electricity.

Now, all 48 operable reactors have been shut although some restarts are expected later this year once safety checks have been completed. Clean energy, including hydro power, accounted for 10 percent in the year ended March 2013.

Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi had said he wanted the energy mix decided within three years. Last month, he said it should be set “as soon as possible,” adding that the government needs a clear outlook on nuclear’s future before committing to targets.

  • Michael Radcliffe

    The irony here is that before the Fukushima accident Japan got more than 25% of its energy from clean energy, in the form of nuclear power.