Japan's path to decarbonisation

In its latest strategic energy plan, released in July 2018, the Fifth Strategic Energy plan, the Government of Japan confirmed its overall goal of decarbonising Japan’s energy mix by 2050.

Japan’s energy mix has been forever changed by the events of March 11 2011 when the country was rocked by a severe earthquake, triggering a tsunami that destroyed Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, causing the meltdown of the nuclear reactor and a subsequent backlash against nuclear power, the Fukushima Disaster.

In the immediate aftermath, all 39 of Japan’s nuclear power stations were shut down and seven years later only nine have come back online. From that moment onwards, Japan became determined to ensure that renewable energy would play a far greater role in its energy future.

This article will examine the policy initiatives and practical results that have occurred in the renewable energy sector in Japan since that time, and what we can expect in the years ahead, in particular what developments the market can expect to see in the offshore wind market.

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