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Japan moving away from dependence on gas and imported fuels

Industry expert highlights public-private sector collaboration in emerging smart communities

| | Jun 5, 2018 | 5:28 pm
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Tokyo, Japan, 5 June 2018: The Japanese are trying to move as quickly as possible to hydrogen to displace dependence on gas and other imported fuels, said Andrew DeWit, Professor in the School of Economic Policy Studies at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, Japan. To further prove his point, DeWit points to Hioki city in the Kagoshima Prefecture, one of the myriad of emerging smart communities that features cogeneration. Hioki city, he said, “is a collaboration among the city, Taiyo Gas, Hitachi and other local businesses.”

DeWit added, “For the Japanese, Hioki and other local-production-local-consumption projects boost energy security, alleviate exposure to price and geopolitical volatility, help secure local basic energy supply for disasters, revitalise local economies, and avoid wasting scarce funds on large-scale grid and transformer infrastructure that might not be used due to ageing and depopulation.” DeWit said that since heat from cogeneration cannot be moved efficiently for more than two or three kilometres, there are also thermodynamic reasons to emphasise micro and meso-level solutions rather than go macro, via, for example, a nationwide grid.

Essentially, DeWit said, the country emphasised solutions that resolve multiple issues and interest multiple stakeholders. This, he said, is the only way to get things done, “in a country that’s aging and otherwise rather slow to take action.”


Hannah Jo Uy is Assistant Editor at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at hannah@cpi-industry.com

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