Daily Management Review

Japanese companies demand more renewable energy


Japanese companies are threatening the country's government to export their production because the renewable energy industry is too underdeveloped. The move will be a forced measure: foreign partners are putting pressure on business.

Fernando Tomás
Fernando Tomás
Representatives of several Japanese companies have complained to the government that the level of development of renewable energy production is too low. They expressed their complaints during a meeting with Japan's Minister of Administrative Reform, Taro Kono, last month. The minister himself revealed some details of that meeting in an interview with the Financial Times.

According to Kono, representatives of Sony, electronics manufacturer Ricoh, cosmetics company Kao and other companies said that they would not be able to maintain their plants in the country under current renewable energy laws and will have to look for options to establish production abroad. At the same time, they said they would not do so of their own free will: in fact, they would be forced to do so by their business partners, who are increasingly demanding that they adhere to green production standards. 

The Japanese government decided to change the situation in the energy sector in 2017, when it passed a law to increase electricity production from renewable sources. The fourth Strategic Development Plan stipulates that by 2030, the share of energy generated from renewable sources will reach 24% of the country's total energy production. To this end, the government intended to invest around $700 billion. Last month, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that Japan must switch to renewable energy sources and stop emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 2050.

The Minister acknowledged that Japan is lagging far behind in terms of renewable energy development. Even if the 2030 target is met, Japan will be far behind European countries, many of which already have 30% of their energy produced from renewable sources. Therefore, representatives of Japanese companies asked the government to adjust the target to 40% by 2030. In addition, companies are asking for relaxation in legislation and simplification of the procedure for obtaining land, including coastal and port areas, for the construction of solar panels and wind farms there.

source: ft.com