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In the Aftermath of Fukushima, Japan Turns to Renewable Energy

In the immediate aftermath of the 11 March nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima, which took six of Tokyo Electric Power Company’s offline, the Japanese government took immediate steps to conserve energy and urged its citizens to the do the same.

The campaign succeeded, as even with 35 of 54 nuclear reactors temporarily suspended offline for safety checks, the total electricity usage in the area covered by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) was never more than 90 percent of the available supply, even when 20 percent less electricity was supplied this year compared to 2010 figures because of the Fukushima accident.

While Prime Minister Naoto Kan briefly flirted with the idea of eliminating nuclear energy altogether, he eventually decided upon a compromise, reducing the nation’s need for nuclear power while promoting the development of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power to make up for the energy shortfall caused by the accident, South Korea’s JoongAng Daily reported.

A July poll by the Kyodo News Agency found that seventy percent of the Japanese public support abandoning nuclear energy, a position also supported by many local governments.
In recovering from the TEPCO tragedy, Fukushima prefecture has proposed creating a new community with renewable energy, hoping to reinvent the region as a model for the country, while Iwate prefecture is promoting the Sanriku Eco-Town Project to expand solar and wind energy generation to coastal areas.

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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