June 16(Thursday)

"The next era" (4): The Bill to Promote Renewable Energies

 

I have received requests in succession, two days ago and then again yesterday, to bring the Bill to Promote Renewable Energies into enactment. The day before yesterday I received a request signed by 202 Diet members transcending party lines, while yesterday at the Diet Members' Office Building there was a gathering hosted by the Executive Committee of "Energy Shift Now!" As for me, I keenly realize that the flow of events has finally come to this point under this theme I have pursued since approximately 30 years ago when I was first elected to the Diet.

 

Within the business community there are some who say that because electricity costs will increase, they oppose this new system, which stipulates that electric power suppliers are to purchase from each electricity generating entity the entire amount of electricity generated from solar power, wind power, or other renewable energies (natural energies) via feed-in tariffs. However, the costs of nuclear power will also increase in light of compensation for accidents and other concerns, while fossil fuels are also in the midst of a global trend towards rising prices.

 

The argument that renewable energies have only meager practicality is no doubt a viewpoint based on Japan's "current state of affairs". It goes without saying that, insofar as one makes decisions in conformity with the "current state of affairs", then the "current state of affairs" never evolves.  What is essential is that the political will to "advance the current state of affairs" itself moves into action.

 

Take the U.S.' Apollo Project, for example.  When then-President Kennedy declared the goal of "before this decade [the 1960's] is out, of landing a man on the moon," many people believed that this would be extremely difficult to achieve.  And yet it was exactly because such will was demonstrated that financial resources shifted in that direction, technological innovations advanced, and the 1969 landing of the Apollo 11 spacecraft on the moon was achieved.

 

In the case of renewable energies as well, costs should decrease dramatically once we make clear our will and technological innovations advance.  Now, as we head towards "the next era," is the time for us to bring this bill, which will constitute a major "first step" in fostering renewable energies, into enactment.



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