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The Movement for Zero Emission Society and Japanese Company

July 26, 2018

Mamiko Yuasa

Even though the Paris Agreement had set up from 2 years, however, the supply of primary energies occupy fossil fuels more than 90% in Japan (see Figure 1.). This country had Great East earthquake on March 11, 2011, and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had broken. Japan were taken the place to the fossil fuels and have a plan to create 40 new fossil fuel facilities. The reason why, other country labeled Japan as “an environment developing country” despite this country is one of developed country that participated in COP23 in Fiji, 2017.

Figure 1: The Transition of Primary Energies in Japan

Source: 2014 White Paper on Energy Usage, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.

   In fact, the measures against global warming and environmental countermeasure have big business chances. Investors will feel skeptical about the value of a company, which is slow in countering the climate change issues.

   From two reasons; one is Japan use fossil fuels as the supply of primary energies more than 90%, and another is that environmental countermeasure has big business chances, in Japan must take actions to create a zero-emission society. As a matter of fact, some Japanese companies have already started building the renewable energy facilities. I would like introduce Toda corporation one of Japanese company that struggle to contrast zero-emission society.

Toda Corporation is attentive to environment

Toda Corporation is one of the biggest and oldest construction and facility companies in Japan. This company has begun to develop a floating-type offshore wind power generation device with the Kyoto University since 2007. Japan is consisting of islands, it is difficult to set up wind power plants on the mountains and lands. As Toda corporation is good at construction works and technical development, this company conceived to develop a wind power generation system using these technologies.

Courtesy:Ministry of the Environment, GOTO FOWT Floating Offshore Wind Turbine

   A floating type can suppress the noise of construction and prevent losing a base of a sea. This generation has less harmful effects for the fish and marine species than the marine wind power generation system that is established on the bottom of the sea and doesn’t need large scale basic construction. Instead, it is firmly fixed into the bottom of ocean by strong and tight ropes. In addition, structures of floating system give fishes and marine species feeding areas and hiding places, providing same functions as wave dissipating blocks, this type can contribute to conservation of sea creatures.

   In 2010, Toda Corporation was assigned to construct an experimental prototype of offshore floating system in Nagasaki by the Japanese Government, which enabled this project to go forward. Otherwise, it would be too high cost to establish a floating-type offshore wind power generation system.

   Iku Sato, leader of Energy Unit Section, Department of Value Creation Capacity of Toda took part in COP 23 held in Bonn, Germany in 2017. While he had long been struggled with the shortage of investment in floating-style generation, Japan was criticized of its reluctance to promote green energy market by other countries. Sato spoke to foreign investors that Japanese companies were trying very hard to develop many renewable energy systems to achieve “Zero-emission Society” with tears in her eyes.

   As a result, Toda Corporation could obtain 10 billion yen of “Green Bond,” one of the bonds for company tackling to build renewable energy plantations and “Zero Emission Society”. Toda Corporation will establish 23 floating type offshore wind power generation.

Invest in Japanese company

There are Japanese company support “Zero-Emission Society” and begin to develop a renewable energy power plant like Toda Corporation. Despite that, why is Japan dubbed as the environmentally developed country?

   One is Japan is difficult to make a renewable rule or law about to building “Zero-Emission Society”. Another reason is the fact that Japanese companies have a little opportunity to get investments from foreign countries, too. Japanese businesses have better to show their efforts to other country much aggressively. In addition, investors, especially who have big power, should evaluate achievements per company, not the country. Particularly, Investors should support companies of developing countries to develop and research the environment friendly technologies, as well.



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