At a press conference on Nov. 20, Minister for Regulatory Reform Taro Kono announced that he will launch a task force to promote the further introduction of renewable energy. The task force will aim to help the government reach the goal pledged by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050. The task force will review regulations that hinder the introduction of more renewable energy and urge related ministries and agencies to undertake regulatory reform.
The first meeting is scheduled for early December. Four members have been selected, including Tsuru University professor Hiroshi Takahashi and Keio University project professor Akira Kawamoto.
Regulations effectively banning the diversion of agricultural land to other uses and limiting the capacity of power grids block the further introduction of renewable energy in Japan. “We have received a total of 174 requests, including those regarding regulations on renewable energy facility location and electric power networks. I intend to address these issues swiftly,” said Kono.
On the same day, the minister met with the “Japan Climate Leaders’ Partnership (JCLP),” a group of corporations tackling climate change. Aeon President Akio Yoshida and Toda Corporation President Masanori Imai handed Kono the group’s proposal.
The JCLP proposal calls for having renewable energy make up 50% of Japan’s energy mix by 2030, as a step toward achieving zero carbon emissions in 2050. Specifically, the group urges the government to build power grids and other infrastructure and develop the renewable energy market.
“Many regulations need to be reformed. Japan is behind other nations in introducing renewable energy as a main energy source,” Kono stressed.