Japan announces 20% increase in renewable energies

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Concentrating on renewable energy from solar, wind and biomass.

The Japanese Prime Minister’s announcement that they would be scaling back nuclear development flies in the face of Britain’s Climate Change Committee’s recommendation to increase reliance on atomic energy this week Naoto Kan, the Japanese Prime Minister announced yesterday that Japan will be scrapping plans to build more nuclear reactors.

The proposal had been to generate 50% of Japan’s electricity requirements from nuclear but following the Fukushima meltdown the Japanese nuclear programme will be scaled back and they will now concentrate on renewable energy from solar, wind and biomass.

“I believe the government bears a major responsibility for having promoted nuclear energy as national policy,” Mr Kan said. “Iapologiseto the people for failing to prevent the nuclear accident.”

His announcement is the opposite approach to the British Climate Change Committee’s recommendation this week that increasing nuclear capacity was the cheapest route to reduce the UK’s carbon output.

“Money is obviously important but it can’t be the only consideration,” said Ken Moss, CEO of solar generator mO3 Power.

“Safety is the primary consideration for most people and developing renewable technologies now will create jobs and Britain would reap the benefits should it become a major worldwide player in the new renewable energy industries,” he said.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is currently considering a proposal that would cut the support (through feed-in-tariffs) for medium sized solar developments (above 250kW) by 72% and an announcement is expected this month.

Under the feed-in-tariff scheme, individuals or developers who generate power from solar – or other renewable sources – receive payments from their energy supplier based on how much energy they generate to off-set installation.

“We need to find a new energy strategy that will mix all the renewable energies if we are to meet our EU carbon commitments,” said Ray Noble, of of the Renewable Energy Association.

“Nuclear is likely to face new International Atomic Energy Agency regulations, which will most likely increase the price, and along with more public concern the building of any new Nuclear Power Station is likely to be delayed. By contrast solar, which is being ignored by the current government, can be deployed starting immediately and with prices falling rapidly could well represent the best value for money long term with no risks,” said Mr Noble.

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