Alternate Energy Japan: Energy Plan to Decrease Dependence on Oil
At a meeting of ministers on the country's energy policy, Koizumi said Japan should draft an energy plan that goes beyond the one the government has compiled up to fiscal 2010 and that the new plan should put priority on departing from oil dependency and boosting alternative energy consumption, the official said.
"We need to decrease consumption of oil and bring in new alternative energy sources including solar and wind power as well as fuel cells," Koizumi was quoted as saying. "That is the way we should transform our country from a nation with almost no resources."
Recent surges in crude oil prices to record-high levels are behind the policy, the official said.
The premier said nuclear power is an important source of energy for Japan but it would be difficult to increase the number of nuclear power plants.
Some electric power companies have become reluctant to promote nuclear plant construction because of local opposition and the high cost of building and running the plants, analysts say.
Under the government's revised energy supply plan, which is expected to be formalized by May, Japan aims to lower dependence on petroleum in primary energy supply from 47 percent in fiscal 2000 to 41 percent in fiscal 2010.
Considering the technological lead Japanese automakers like Toyota and Honda have shown in hybrid technology, it is time for the Japanese government to show leadership in promoting plug-in hybrid technology and alternative energy. By doing so Japan can lock in long term electricity and transportation fuel prices and reduce its significant exposure to rises in fossil fuels prices. It also has an opportunity to set an example on an international level by leading the way to a post oil age.