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Results of survey regarding interest and feasibility of participation in electric power generation-related projects by local government bodies

March 29, 2013

  • At present, the focus is mainly on solar power generation for personal consumption and sale, and there are as yet few projects relating to adjustment of supply and demand.
  • Most projects center on energy re-use for the purpose of home generation, but some of the more progressive local government bodies show interest in district-level energy management.
  • For the realization of projects, municipal governments in particular show interest in joint public-private projects.

In November-December 2012, The Japan Research Institute, Limited (JRI) conducted a nationwide survey among local government bodies, regarding their interest in electric power generation-related projects and the feasibility of their participation in such projects.

Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan’s conventional energy supply systems, which depend on large-scale power stations, have been re-evaluated, and there have been calls for the construction of a new system using small-scale energy sources distributed across districts. Reducing consumption of fossil fuels and switching to renewable energy sources is also important for the purpose of cutting of greenhouse gas emissions, which has been regarded as a global issue for many years.

The demand for electricity is not uniform but varies from one district to another. In some there is a need for a cheap and stable supply for industry, while in others there is growing interest in a consumer-oriented supply with a particular focus on energy savings. In the future, in order to be able to use small-scale energy sources distributed across districts, an issue to which, until now, the big electricity companies have not given sufficient attention, it will be necessary to have an accurate grasp of energy sources and needs in each district. If “local production and consumption” of electricity, where electricity generated in a district is used in the same district, is to be achieved, local government bodies will need to have an accurate grasp of the characteristics and needs of their district. In fact, a growing number of local government bodies are showing interest in greater involvement in electric power generation-related projects,including Yamagata Prefectural Government, which has drawn up an energy strategy and set out to develop distributed energy sources, and Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which is considering the adoption of district-level energy management.

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