Energy Transition and the Development of Community Power Movements in Japan

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 12:30
Oral Presentation
Makoto NISHIKIDO, Hosei University, Japan
Yasushi MARUYAMA, Nagoya University, Japan

The purpose of this presentation is to clarify the dynamics of local energy autonomy in Japan and to discuss the conditions for community power movement to manage a renewable energy business independently. Since nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011, the policy promoting renewable energy was introduced. Then big companies rushed into the business and have dominated the market for building and maintaining renewable energy plants. Moreover, these projects give little benefit to local areas, certain amount renewable energy projects are criticized by local residents and nature conservation groups. On the contrary, more local people looked for ways to create energy autonomy. We grape the dynamics of energy autonomy in local area, and consider more equitable and environmentally sustainable energy systems.

Data and Method

We research some “community power movements” to grasp the current situation of energy autonomy in local area. Community power movement was defined as a social movement or social business that creates renewable energy which benefits local people or local areas. We have joined the community power movements’ demonstrations and conducted in-depth interviews.

Results and Conclusion

We can find out that it’s important for community power movements that intermediary social business which supports energy autonomy in local area. For example, community power movements organized the renewable energy company and the company have started training a local company which had not previously been involved in the renewable energy business. This means that community power movements can independently build and manage renewable energy plants without involvement of big companies.

More importantly, community power movements could bring local people not only monetary incentives , but also other “derivative” merits. Such derivative merits as the network of human resources, and cultural exchange between the urban area and the local area have a potential to revitalize local communities.