Shortly after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda publicly commented that he would consider the difficulties it would take to get the country to a zero-reliance on nuclear power, but not necessarily make it an end-goal, the Minister of Industry, Yukio Edano, has said that eliminating the use of nuclear power could not only be done by the year 2030, but it would also be good for the nation’s economy. When asked what the impact would be of permanently shutting down all of Japan’s reactors, he responded that working towards zero-reliance would create growth in renewable energy development and greatly improve energy efficiency.
Under Edano’s supervision, Japan has passed very profitable pricing initiatives that see energy produced from renewable sources purchased at higher prices by utility companies. This has sparked a surge in development of wind, geo-thermal, and solar power plants in the country, with many analysts seeing Japan as the largest market for growth in “green” energy to come along in recent years.
Edano is also recommending that Prime Minister Noda not go ahead with his plan to meet with anti-nuclear activist groups this week. The Industry Minister says that government hearing have been held for the public to voice their opinions on what Japan’s energy policy should be going forward, and by meeting with specific protest organizations, it may not have the same effect of fairness and transparency. Edano says it has been the government’s goal to avoid directly listening to any one group, whether they be the public or business lobbies.