The Land of the Rising Sun Faces a Solar Dilemma

Since the Fukushima disaster, Japan has found itself in a real dilemma, trying to find a way to generate as much energy as possible, but without the help of nuclear power. Solar power, along with other renewable energy sources, was quickly labeled the “redeemer”, replacing nuclear power as the main source of electricity.
Green thinking is promoting the replacement of “old” energy production technologies, such as nuclear power and fossil fuels, with clean technologies such as solar panels.
The premise of climate change is that the concentration of greenhouse gases increases in the atmosphere, thereby reducing the ability of natural systems to absorb them. The increase in greenhouse gases is due to the heavy use of fossil fuels in industrial processes.
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Over two centuries, the extensive use of fossil fuels as energy sources has increased the quality of life by billions, but it has also changed natural systems. Stable for centuries. Therefore, developed countries such as Japan have paid attention to alternatives.
It is estimated that the annual share of renewable energy in Japan’s total power generation in 2019 will increase from 17.4% in the previous year to 18.5%.
As the country stepped up its efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, Japan will require the installation of solar panels on all new public buildings. In 2019, the construction industry alone generated 352 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for 34% of the country’s total (the largest proportion after the industrial sector).
So far everything is fine, if it weren’t for a recent national survey that has frozen most of the excitement surrounding this issue
The Ministry of Environment estimates that construction utilities across the country can generate approximately 19,000 megawatts of solar power capacity. Equivalent to about 30% of Japan’s existing solar capacity.
On Environment Day last month, Japanese automaker Nissan even gifted its all-electric Leaf sedan to the Vatican because he knew that Pope Francis had urged churches around the world to respond to climate emergencies with solutions. Sustainability, this call echoes the encyclical Laudato Si` in which he expressed regret for the deterioration of the environment and called on everyone to take “rapid and unified global action.
So far so good, if it weren’t for the recent national polls that have frozen most of the enthusiasm surrounding this issue. The survey found that 80% of the 47 counties in the archipelago have solar problems for some reason or
. For example, Okayama Prefecture in the west, known as “Sunshine Prefecture,” has been vigorously promoting solar panels.
Akai City alone has 320,000 solar panels covering an area of ​​more than 80 hectares, each of which consumes 65 million kilowatt-hours. Insufficiency? A series of incredibly terrifying landslides, as the world has recently witnessed at Atami, are destructive not only to the environment but also to human life.
As if this was not enough, the quality of the water in the area has declined. Tree roots no longer filter properly and naturally, the water is no longer purified and the valley that flows down is dirtier than before.
Japan’s craze for sustainable energy came against the backdrop of alarmist nuclear power plant closures in 2011, with a bright and sustainable future in mind. So, what is the real legacy of this environmental promotion? Landslides, landscape destruction and environmental destruction. Not to mention that in northern counties such as Fukushima, heavy snow in winter even reduces the power generation capacity of the most advanced solar panels to almost zero.
We all want to see the use of cleaner and safer energy, but just like Japan’s huge financial debts, it should not be achieved through reckless borrowing at the expense of future generations. We must bear in mind that today’s solutions are likely to become tomorrow’s problems.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News.

By Peter

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