Energy / Climate Change

September 7, 2017


Renewable Energy Institute's 11 Recommendations for Establishing Regional Energy Policies

Keywords: Civil Society / Local Issues Energy Policy Renewable Energy 

Recommendations for Regional Energy Policies -- Promoting Natural Energy Sources From Local Communities

The Renewable Energy Institute, a public interest incorporated foundation in Japan, announced on June 21, 2017, "Recommendations for Regional Energy Policies -- Promoting Natural Energy Sources From Local Communities," which lists 11 recommendations for local municipalities.

Natural resources across Japan could offer local communities various benefits in terms of economy, the environment and disaster mitigation (energy self-sufficiency in case of natural disasters). And yet, their potential is often not being fully developed and utilized. Local municipalities can play an important role in expanding the use of locally-available natural energy sources, but typically lack the expertise to do so. Thus, the purpose of these recommendations is to present approaches and methodologies for local governments to establish regional energy policies.

The second recommendation, for instance, calls for tapping into energy demand outside of the region, encouraging municipalities to go beyond local generation and consumption of energy, and also describes how to strategically market environmentally-friendly energy to businesses in big cities. Other advice includes "Working closely with regional financial institutions" and "Improving energy performance of public buildings when conducting new construction or renovation work."

According to the report, it was around the year 2000 when municipalities in Japan first recognized and started working on regional energy policies. This was followed by the central government's policies to rejuvenate local communities, which prompted recent efforts to develop natural energy sources to boost local economies. The institute hopes these recommendations will help local municipalities further utilize their locally available natural energy sources.