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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
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1. June 2020

Book chapter on Japan’s energy transformation and its potential for rural communities

© Daniel Kremers

Renewable energies have the potential to increase energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide an economic basis for the sustainable development of rural areas. Facing typical peripherality issues such as socio-economic decline, poor accessibility, limited political autonomy and tightened budgets, rural communities in Japan are pressed to venture into new institutional arrangements in order to fulfill their statutory duties. Increasing self-sufficiency has therefore emerged as a key strategy for local governments, including energy self-sufficiency. The book chapter “Local renewables: Japan’s energy transformation and its potential for the remaking of rural communities”, co-authored by Daniel Kremers and Thomas Feldhoff (Bochum), analyzes some key trends in Japan’s recent energy transformation and energy policy, in particular government policies linking renewable energy to local development, and local-level conflicts related to increases in renewable energy generation. Case studies highlight the diversity of challenges and the need for locally-specific solutions that lead to healthier communities.
This chapter is part of the volume Japan’s New Ruralities. Coping With Decline in the Periphery (Routledge), co-edited by W. Manzenreiter, R. Lützeler, and S. Polak-Rottmann, and draws on Daniel’s research project on Energy Transition and Energy Democracy in Japan.