Fukushima is planning to transform itself into a renewable energy hub, almost nine years after it became the scene of the world’s worst nuclear accident for a quarter of a century. The prefecture in north-east Japan will forever be associated with the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 11 March 2011, but in an ambitious project the local government has vowed to power the region with 100% renewable energy by 2040, compared with 40% today. Renewables accounted for 17.4% of Japan’s energy mix in 2018, according to the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, well below countries in Europe. The government iaims to increase this to between 22% and 24% by 2030 a target the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has described as ambitious but which climate campaigners criticise as insufficient. Abe insists nuclear energy will help Japan achieve its carbon dioxide emissions targets and reduce its dependence on imported gas and oil, but his recently appointed environment minister, Shinjiro Koizumi, has called for the country’s nuclear reactors to be scrapped to prevent a repeat of the disaster.
Guardian 5th Jan 2020 read more »