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Thursday, 27th September 2012
In General Japan News,

Japanese green energy drive 'off to a strong start'

Japan's recently-launched renewable energy drive has got off to a strong start, ministers have confirmed.

According to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, generation at the nation's newest green energy sites has exceeded the government's targets for 2012 by 50 per cent already.

Notably, solar power plants currently account for around 80 per cent of this new wave of renewable energy, with wind power plants and biomass plants also contributing to the effort to steer Japan away from fossil fuels.

Releasing a report outlining its achievements over the past few months, the ministry noted simply: "We have seen a fairly good start," the Japan Times reports.

However, despite this upturn in green energy capacity, the ministry also revealed that just a small proportion of renewable power sites will start selling energy this financial year, with delays in building many  of them - and in particular in constructing non-solar power plants - meaning that it will be next April at the earliest before consumers and businesses are able to purchase electricity from them.

Earlier this month, the Japanese government confirmed that it has partially approved a plan to gradually phase out nuclear power within the country.

Coming around a year after the Fukushima disaster, ministers expressed a commitment to moving away from nuclear and towards other forms of energy production, including wind and wave power.

However, a deadline for ditching nuclear power has yet to be announced, with even a suggested deadline of 2040 not agreed upon by Japan's top lawmakers and politicians.

Despite the ongoing uncertainty in the national parliament, research shows that a sizeable proportion of the Japanese public are keen to see the country move away from nuclear, not just by blocking the construction of new reactors but also by decommissioning existing ones.

Posted by Susan Ballion