January, 26, 2008 (Bloomberg) – Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda vowed to cut carbon emissions and earmark funds to help developing nations cope with global warming, in a bid to take a leading role in combating climate change. Over the next five years, Japan will spend $30 billion on new environmental technology at home and provide another $10 billion for developing countries, Fukuda said in a speech today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Fukuda also proposed a 30 percent improvement in energy efficiency globally by 2020.
Category Archives: Japan
Toyota Tsusho develops low-cost biodiesel technology
January 21, 2008 (Jiji Press) – Toyota Tsusho Corp. said Monday it and two other firms have jointly developed a technology to produce biodiesel fuel at lower cost.The other two companies are Ohta Oil Mill Co. and Toyota Chemical Engineering Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho.
Biodiesel is made by blending methanol into plant-derived oil. The new technology requires smaller amounts of methanol and alkali catalysts than conventional technologies.
In addition, the new technology makes water removal facilities unnecessary.
Conventional technologies require such facilities because they involve the use of large amounts of water to remove glycerin, a major by-product.
As a result, initial investments needed for biodiesel facilities using the new technology will be about half the levels required for conventional facilities.
Toyota Tsusho plans to put the technology into actual use in Asia as early as 2010.
Japan follows Europe by tapping offshore wind for power
January 19, 2008 (Reuters) – Overlooking a mountain lake a few hours drive from Tokyo, dozens of tall wind turbines spin in the breeze creating carbon-free power for the world’s fifth-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.A sudden change in breeze spins the turbines in a different direction, an apt symbol of Japan’s efforts to shift away from fossil fuels for renewable energy such as wind power to help cut its greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.
Wind farms such as the Nunobiki Plateau Wind Farm on a hill north of Tokyo, which generates enough electricity to power some 35,000 homes a year, have failed to make a dent in Japan’s obligations to cut carbon gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.
But Japan is now looking towards the sea, following in the footsteps of Europe which is the world’s leader in wind energy, by planning a network of offshore wind farms to tap into the gales of the Pacific Ocean.
The world’s most stunning solar building (Japan)
January 16, 2008 (snowcempaints.blogspot.com) – Sanyo in Japan has constructed an amazing solar-collecting building that embodies both clean-energy ideals and awesome architectural design strategies.The so-called Solar Ark has over 5,000 active solar panels generating over 500,000 KWh of environmentally friendly energy. Nearly 500 multi-colored lighting units placed between the various solar panels can be activated to create a variety of shapes and letters on the sides of this enormous structure.
Finland’s Neste Oil says Singapore biodiesel plant to be operational in 2010
January 16, 2008 (Thomson Financial) – Finnish oil refiner Neste Oil said Tuesday that its biodiesel plant in Singapore, its largest, will be operational 2010 and initially cater to Europe’s growing biofuel requirement.The company’s investment of 550 million euros to build the plant, which will have an annual capacity of 800,000 tons, is in line with its strategy to become the world’s leading producer of diesel from renewable feedstock.
It is anticipating that demand will grow rapidly in developed economies.
Demand for biodiesel in Europe is currently around 6-8 million tons annually and is expected to grow to 13-15 million tons by 2010.
Japan’s Eurus enters solar market
January 4, 2008 (Cleantech.com) – The country’s biggest wind power operator plans to build a 1 megawatt photovoltaic solar farm in South Korea. Tokyo’s Eurus Energy Holdings, the biggest wind power operator in Japan, said today it would expand into the solar power business with a project in South Korea.
The company said its first step into solar would be to construct a 1 megawatt photovoltaic power station in Jeollabuk-do, with commercial operation to start in June of this year.
Sharp to Build Osaka Plant for 100 Billion Yen (US$883 million)
December 15, 2007 (Bloomberg) – Sharp Corp., Japan’s biggest maker of solar batteries, will spend about 100 billion yen ($883 million) to build a solar battery plant in Osaka, the Nikkei newspaper reported, citing Chairman Katsuhiko Machida. The company will construct the factory for thin-film solar cells in Sakai in Osaka prefecture, next to a liquid-crystal display plant under construction, Nikkei said. It will likely become the world’s largest solar-cell plant, capable of producing 1,000 megawatts of capacity yearly, the report said.
Sharp expects the factory to be operating by March 2010. Solar-power cells made using thin-film technology reduce costs as they require about one-hundredth the amount of silicon as conventional models, President Mikio Katayama said in July.
Japan to fund green measures to reduce Indonesia emissions
December 1, 2007 (Malaysian Sun) – Japan has reached a broad agreement with Indonesia to provide financial aid for implementing measures on global warming, the first such deal to be struck under a new mechanism Tokyo unveiled in May to support developing nations, government sources said.
Japan, eager to take the lead in forming a global consensus on building a post-2012 international framework, will support Indonesia’s plans to expand geothermal power generation, address illegal logging, and establish environmental laws and regulations, the sources said.
Japan’s Sharp sees bright future for solar power (invests $200MM in solar cells)
November 30, 2007 (AFP.com) – Japan’s Sharp Corp. announced Thursday a 200-million-dollar investment in solar cells as manufacturers compete for a slice of the burgeoning market for alternative energy products.
Sharp will spend about 22 billion yen on a 10-fold expansion in production of thin-film solar cells, which it said use only about one hundredth of the silicon raw material used in conventional crystalline solar cells.
Japan goes on an air spending spree
November 30, 2007 (Asia Times) – Increasingly feeling the heat over the Kyoto Protocol on curbing global warming, Japan is going on a spending spree to buy rights from around the world to emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
With the clock ticking toward the start of the United Nations treaty’s “first commitment period” of 2008-2012, more and more dark clouds are hanging over Japan’s commitment to reach its protocol goal.