Japanese PM pledges 10 mn solar-powered homes

May 25, 2011
Japanese Prime minister Naoto Kan delivers a speech during the OECD 50th anniversary forum at the OECD headquarters in Paris. Japan will have ten million solar-powered homes by 2020, Kan pledged Wednesday as the country makes a major push towards renewable energy following its nuclear crisis.

Japan will have ten million solar-powered homes, Prime Minister Naoto Kan pledged Wednesday, as the country makes a major push in coming years towards renewable energy following its nuclear crisis.

"Japan aims to install solar panels on the roofs of about 10 million houses," Kan said at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Organisation for and Development.

Debate has picked up in Japan on a shift toward clean and since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was hit by a monster tsunami in March causing radiation to leak into the air, soil and sea.

Kan has scrapped a national energy policy plan under which nuclear reactors would meet half of Japan's energy needs by 2030 and advocated making renewables "key pillars" of the energy mix.

The world's number three economy currently generates about 30 percent of its power from .

"We will elevate to one of society's core energy sources," Kan said Wednesday.

"We will engage in drastic technological innovation in order to increase the share of renewable energy in total electric power supply up to 20 percent by the earliest possible, in 2020," he added.

To do this Japan aims to drastically lower the cost of -- to one third of its current level by 2020 and to one sixth by 2030, the prime minister said.

The push to renewable energy is part of Japan's effort "to review its basic energy plan from scratch" following the , he added.

Improving nuclear safety would be an essential part of this, Kan stressed, and will involve not only technical aspects but institutional aspects and the safety culture in organisations.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami left nearly 25,000 people dead or missing and the Japanese government has moved to evacuate residents from villages outside the 20-kilometre exclusion zone around the ageing Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The owner of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has come under criticism for its handling of the crisis

"Drawing on the lessons from the nuclear accidents, we will achieve the highest standard of nuclear safety," Kan said.

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John_balls
not rated yet May 25, 2011
It's too bad that we had to see a disaster happen before we had a government take such bold moves. But nonetheless this is a win win for all.
Beard
not rated yet May 26, 2011
These concerns are only valid for countries as geologically active as Japan; even for them it was a very unlikely event. I wish the rest of the world would stop reveling in irrational fear.

At least the innovation they provide will help everyone else.
xstos
not rated yet May 31, 2011
The disaster was the Japanese regulatory bodies were asleep at the switch and negligent. It has nothing to do with properly implemented and well regulated nuclear installations. Blame the people not the technology.