- What are Germany and Japan doing differently in their energy and climate policies, compared with the US, and how has this affected their mix of energy sources used?
- Do you believe Germany and Japan should be working toward a common objective of energy transition away from fossil fuels? Why or why not?
Notably, Japan and Germany are rethinking how their countries consume energy and now these countries are taking steps in adopting a green renewable energy policy. Furthermore, the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, displays how alternative energies should be a requirement. In addition, it presented the dilapidation and the vulnerability of Japan’s energy infrastructure.
Thus, the commonality with both countries is that the citizenry has strongly opposed the use of nuclear power plants to power the electric grid. Resulting, in a framework of renewable energy to modernize Japan and Germanys’ energy grid for sustainable and environmentally safe energy. Specifically, Germany’s Energiewende is an ambitious plan to transition at least 50 % of Germany’s electricity grids from fossil fuels to renewable alternative energy.
Germanys’ Energiewende has positive results such as emissions dropping to 2009 levels. Nevertheless, the cost and unpredictable weather are still present-day issues. However, the public and politicians still find Energiewende very popular and beneficial to the environment.
According to The Japan Times (2015), Energiewende has been a courageous move: The German government has begun out with, a parcel of questions and the choice to shut down atomic plants reorganized the deck in erratic ways. Energy companies have endured; final year, E.ON, the country’s greatest control provider, posted a net misfortune of €3.2 billion, the greatest in its history, and chosen to part it in two, one portion centering on renewables and the other on fossil fuels. However, it’s clear presently that the program has been a victory which as long as there are a well-defined objective and a decided exertion to reach it, the fundamental innovation will display itself.
Incidentally, the US has not and will not in the near future implement public policy that converts half of the energy grid with renewable energy sources. In light of the fact, the fossil fuel industry has a hold/influence on many sectors of American society.
Overall, it is fantastic that Germany and Japan are working together to create a partnership to reduce their countries’ carbon footprint. Essentially, since the Paris agreement, each country has benefited from the exchange in the flow of ideas regarding the expansion of renewable energies. Hence, this partnership between Japan and Germany can serve as a blueprint for other countries to follow.
Given that the two countries have stressed the central role of sustainable energy in light of the Paris Agreement, the Energy Partnership benefits both parties. Germany has extensive experience in the expansion and system integration of renewables, whereas Japan has been a pioneer in the use of hydrogen as well as in the development of energy storage and so-called smart grids (Adelphi, 2019).
Adelphi. (2019, 18 06). German-Japanese Energy Partnership creates momentum for energy transition. Retrieved from adelphi: https://www.adelphi.de/en/news/german-japanese-energy-partnership-creates-momentum-energy-transition
Bershidsky, L. (2015, Dec 1). Germany leads the way with energy transition. Retrieved from The Japan Times: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/12/01/commentary/world-commentary/germany-leads-the-way-with-energy-transition/#.XctMVtVOllc