(Sankei: January 15, 2015 – p.10)
The administration will secure funds for an energy policy to realize a “hydrogen society” including a subsidy for the purchase of a fuel cell vehicle (FCV). It will also earmark budget for energy conservation and renewable energy. In order to disseminate the FCV, 4.1 billion yen will be appropriated for the construction of hydrogen stations and research and development of the FCV for the purpose of reducing the car price. Twenty billion yen was secured for the purchase of the next generation car.
4.1 billion yen will be earmarked to support energy conservation in small and medium-sized businesses. The budget will be utilized to renew production equipment and improve manufacturing process. If added to the FY2014 supplementary budget, the budget bill (for FY2015) will exceed 13 billion yen, “the largest ever” (the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry).
In the field of renewable energy, the budget will be used to support surveys for and construction of geothermal power generation plants as a stable electric power source. The budget will also help establish technology for offshore wind power generation.
In combination with the FY2014 supplementary budget, a sufficient amount is earmarked to handle the issue of suspending the purchase of renewable energy.
With the decline in the crude oil price, 48.5 billion yen will be appropriated to secure interests in oil and natural gas. 12.5 billion yen is allocated for the exploration of methane hydrate and the development of the retrieval technology.
As for nuclear power generation, besides the conventional subsidy calculated according to the amount of generated power, a new subsidy will be set up for local governments to deal with “regional environmental changes” caused by the restart of nuclear power plants or prolonged suspension of nuclear power plants.
1.5 billion yen was secured to fund community meetings to determine whether to restart nuclear power plants. Local government needs determine the use of this funding. 19.6 billion yen was appropriated for maintenance and management of the Monju fast breeder reactor.