This case study examines Japan’s renewable energy policy and the state of the energy transition, to assess whether the country is enacting a socially just energy transition.
Economic diversification/restructuring > Economic development plans, Industry and/or sector assistance or plans, Infrastructure investment
Employment > Job creation and/or equality
Government intervention > Regulation
community power projects
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation
Non-profit organization/civil society organization
This report by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) summarizes Japan’s renewable energy policies and the state of its energy transition. It outlines Japan’s current energy mix and the policies in place to support an expansion of renewable energy in the electrical power system, particularly since the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011. This incident prompted Japan to restructure its electricity sector and expand its coal and natural gas imports to displace nuclear power. Most of the paper is technical in nature and focuses on the country’s power sector and the ongoing deregulation process.
The report also outlines Japan’s long-term vision for promoting the transition to renewable energy, arguing that its plans for renewable power are underdeveloped. The report highlights the opportunities for renewable energy development, including various prefectures’ potential for wind, solar, and geothermal energy production. It also provides recommendations to achieve a socially just energy transition, including the potential for community-based renewable energy projects, as well as credit systems to support their development.
Presentation/Guidelines, Strategies and Recommendations
This presentation analyzes the potential impacts on employment of decarbonizing the Japanese power sector through a just transition.
Employment > Job creation and/or equality, Skills
Inequality and/or poverty > Other
emissions reduction target
renewable energy maintenance work
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
Academic/research institution or journal
This presentation, given at the International Forum for Sustainable Asia, discusses the potential employment impacts of decarbonizing the Japanese power sector in line with Japan’s 80% emissions reductions target by 2050. Based on power sector employment data, the author identifies the potential impacts on employment by location and economic sector, as well as on demographic inequalities within the workforce.
The results indicate that decarbonization will result in a net increase in domestic employment and supply stable jobs in rural areas. They also indicate that it will ameliorate existing inequalities in the working-age population, contributing to the revitalization of local economies. However, surplus workers will likely be pushed out of conventional power plant jobs. The author concludes that a just transition is possible if governments implement policy measures to support surplus workers and communicate layoff decisions well in advance.