(Asahi: November 21, 2015 – p. 7)
By Toshio Kawada
The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) announced on Nov. 20 that it will draft an “Energy Reform Strategy” by next spring with an eye to balancing global warming countermeasures and the expansion of investment in energy. It will adjust relevant systems in light of the liberalization of the electricity market [from April 2016] and Japan’s fiscal 2030 energy mix. The strategy will be reflected in Japan’s growth strategy and global warming countermeasures.
[METI] cited three key issues: “improving energy-saving” for housing and motor vehicles; “expanding renewable energy,” such as solar power generation; and “building a new energy system” for a society in which hydrogen is a primary form of energy.
METI will also consider measures to address the rapid increase in plans to construct coal-fired power plants, which emit large volumes of carbon dioxide. METI seeks to encourage [power companies] to attain the “voluntary framework [for achieving a low-carbon society],” which the electric power industry drafted as a way to combat global warming. METI will do this by not approving the construction of new low-efficiency plants and creating rules, including one that electricity operators overall must source 44% or more of their energy from non-fossil fuel sources.