5th January 2021
EP Report

Japan needs to boost renewable energy by reforming outdated policies on land use and the national grid if it is to meet a new goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, industry players and experts say.


Since announcing the 2050 target in November, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government has pledged to spend $20 billion on green tech and set ambitious new wind power targets.


But the world's third-largest economy has a lot of catching up to do, said Ken Isono, CEO of renewable energy company Shizen Energy.

"Japan could be a leading country in solar, 15 years ago it used to be," he said. "But I think Japan lacked vision and so it got totally left behind."


Critics have long bemoaned a lack of ambition in Japan's policy, which currently aims for 22-24 percent of the country's energy to come from renewables by 2030.


Around 17 percent already came from renewables in 2017, and a combination of growth in the sector and a pandemic-related fall in demand means Japan is on track to meet its 2030 target this year.


Japan was the sixth-biggest contributor to global greenhouse emissions in 2017, according to the International Energy Agency.

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