Plans and Priorities
We have been positively working on R&Ds on energy and environmental fields. The amount of public investments on the R&Ds in our country are the second largest following US, and the first among the major developed countries as a share of GDP.
For instance, since the mid-1970s, Japan has been promoting R&Ds of technologies in the field of energy and environment including photovoltaic cells, heat pumps and fuel cells, under the national strategies such as the “Sunshine Project” and the “Moonlight Project”. Based on such long-term strategies, Japan has realized breakthrough innovations including widely diffusion of solar energy generation and the commercialization of fuel-cell vehicles, ahead of the rest of the world.
In order to accelerate R&Ds of innovative technologies for drastically reducing GHG emissions in the long-term, Japan has established a new national strategy, the “National Energy and Environment Innovation Strategy towards 2050 (NESTI2050)”, in this April. Under this strategy, Japan will identify such promising technologies as next-generation batteries and technologies related to hydrogen and will focus to conducting R&Ds on these technologies. This effort is in line with that of MI.
We propose the registration of the FY 2016 as its base year and 45 billion yen for its baseline amount. Further, we will try to allocate as much budget as possible to the fields of innovative technologies looking ahead to the year of 2050 in NESTI2050. Even if there are financial constraints, we will aim at doubling the budget in five years.
In addition, we compiled a report called the Long-term Energy Supply and Demand Outlook for FY2030 (the” Energy Mix”). Tackling climate change issues requires finding a balance between mitigation measures and economic growth. To achieve this, Japan is committed to:
- Promoting energy-saving measures,
- Expanding the use of renewable energy sources, and
- Increasing investments aimed at establishing a new energy system to improve the efficiency of energy use.
In particular, the total share of renewable energy is set to double from 12% in 2013 to 22-24% (Solar 7.0%, Wind 1.7%, Biomass 3.7-4.6%, Geothermal 1.0-1.1%, Hydropower 8.8-9.2%) in 2030.
Besides, we started R&D programs such as R&D on supercritical geothermal resources and R&D on quantum dot photovoltaic cells as promising technological fields specified in NESTI2050.
Country definition of clean energy R&D investment
We have defined “clean energy” targeted in MI as the energy through innovative technologies that are expected to drastically reduce GHG emissions by 2050, which is decided in “National Energy and Environment Innovation Strategy towards 2050 (NESTI2050)” published in this spring.
Specifically, the following eight fields are the decided targets:
- Innovative production process
- Ultra-lightweight and heat-resistant structural materials
- Next-generation batteries
- Production, storage and utilization of hydrogen, etc.
- Next-generation photovoltaics
- Next-generation geothermal power generation
- Fixing and utilizing CO2
- System infrastructure technologies: energy system integration technologies (AI, Big Data and IoT) and core technologies (next generation power electronics, innovative sensors and superconductivity) constituting the system