“Japan Solar Energy Soars, But Grid Needs to Catch Up.” by Yvonne Chang
Reviewed by Dominic
Due to the recent Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan has put a halt on most of its existing nuclear plants. As such, the government is seeking for alternative sources of energy.
The article highlights that Hokkaido is the target of large scale investment for the development of large areas of solar farms for solar energy harvesting as there is ample sunlight available throughout the year.
In the start of the article, the writer begins with the phrase “A new renewable energy incentive program has Japan on track to become the world’s leading market for solar energy, leaping past China and Germany, with Hokkaido at the forefront of the sun power rush.” (Chang, 2013).
I believe that the initial portrayal of Japan is of a country that has been constantly engaging in alternative energy sources. However, another image I feel should not be overlooked is that Japan is incapable of handling with the environment even though she has been attempting to engage environmental concerns. The writer argues that, for instance, the national electrical grid is still not well equipped to transmit electricity across the nation from the north to where it is needed.
I interpret the word ‘Green’ to be the efficient usage of resources as well as environmental conservation. The Japanese government has launched a slew of incentives such as the provision of tariffs to lessen the costs of developing solar technologies, but the grid is controlled by companies that operate on different transmission networks. Worse, because of the difference in the frequency of electricity provided, energy produced would not be able to reach many places (Chang, 2013). As such, while Japan may seem to pursue ‘Green’ interests with alternative sources of energy, but I believe that its inability makes it ‘not Green’.
Chang, Yvonne. “Japan Solar Energy Soars, But Grid Needs to Catch Up.” National Geographic. August 14 2013. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/08/130814-japan-solar-energy-incentive/