The Best Energy Mix for East Asia

The Best Energy Mix for East Asia

Recently, the dust is settling on the national politics where Japan as a country is gearing up for its drive to define the future of its energy sector. After the Liberal Democratic Party had secured the upper house in the July 2013, a serious debate relating to the energy mix in the country emerged (Thomson, Chang and Lee 106). This is because the upper house wanted to determine the future size of the nuclear reactor fleet in the coming years. Secondly, there was a rising reliance on the natural gas in the country which was a huge risk in the energy sector. Further, the upper house wanted to set a pace for the deployment of the renewable energy in the energy economy. Moreover, China has for a long time geared up to reduce its coal consumption and importation of renewable resources (Tan and Mathews 1-8). These are some of the determinants that were considered in the quest to determine the best energy mix for the country.

After the Fukushima accident, there was a scrutiny that was brought by to the energy sector to determine the governance of the nuclear power (Broinowski 1-10). This was also meant to create soundness in the energy regulatory system. The scrutiny reduced the entire number of the operating nuclear power reactors to being two in the country. The nuclear power outage that happened in the country was a huge economic blow to Japan as a country (Bortz 21). This is because it relied heavily on the imports to meet the energy needs of the country. Although the country heavily relied on the imported uranium to fuel and keep running its fleet of the nuclear reactors, the use and production of the nuclear energy became a very important and crucial part of the Japan’s nuclear policy.

This happened after the prominent Arab oil embargos in the 1970’s.  Most nuclear economies across the globe are less vulnerable to the vitalities that normally occur when there is fluctuations and instability in the global oil markets (Steger 87). Hence, we can argue that this was an important move by Japan to consider full adoption of the nuclear energy in the country. This is because before the Fukushima accident, nuclear energy in the country only amount to one-third of the electricity generation mix in the country. Further, the bilateral talks to enhance cooperation between Japan and the United States of America were and are aimed at enhancing the commercial developments of the nuclear energy through the exchange of ideas and research on the best ways and means of producing nuclear energy.

In a move to enhance and promote the adoption and the use of the nuclear energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority recently issued new criteria that are meant to improve the safety of all the nuclear power plants that have been established in East Asia (Tan and Mathews 1-8). This can be viewed as an effective and reliable measure against the earthquakes and tsunami. This was achieved through the establishment of the second control rooms and the installation of the filter venting systems, especially on the boiling water reactors. Finally, coal use continues to decline in the country due to the enforcement of the environmental laws. This has led to the introduction of the tariff feeds for the renewable energy. This will involve full liberalization of the electricity market. This includes freeing the electricity rates in the country. Additionally, there will be the separation of the transmission and distribution segments in the energy sector.

 

Works Cited

Bortz, Fred. Meltdown!: The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, 2012. Print.

Broinowski, Adam. “Fukushima: Life and the Transnationality of Radioactive Contamination.” The Asia-Pacific Journal 11.41 (2013): 1-23. Print.

Steger, Manfred. Globalization: Tan and Mathews 1-8. Oxford: OUP Oxford, 2013. Print.

Tan, Hao and John Mathews. “A ‘Great Reversal’ in China? Coal Continues to Decline with Enforcement of Environmental Laws.” The Asia-Pacific Journal 13.34 (2015): 1-8. Print.

Thomson, Elspeth, Chang Youngho, and Jae-Seung Lee. Energy Conservation in East Asia: Towards Greater Energy Security. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2010. Print.

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