Japan wants to export renewable energy tech to emerging economies

The Japanese government plans to export its expertise in renewable energy technologies such as low-emitting geothermal, solar and hydrogen power to emerging economies, a government source said Wednesday.

The move reflects an expected rise in demand for energy technology that emits limited amounts of carbon dioxide in India, China and Southeast Asia after the Paris climate accord came into force, calling on each country to set its own targets for mitigating clime change.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Foreign Ministry are expected to make arrangements in the near future to develop specific plans, according to the source.

The ministries’ primary challenge is likely to be assuaging developing countries’ concerns about the costs of renewable energy infrastructure.

Japan may try to use the export of the technologies to strengthen its strategic ties with the destination countries.

The International Energy Agency has forecast great future demand for primary energy — energy found in nature that has not been converted into another form — in countries experiencing continued economic growth such as India and nations in Southeast Asia.

The Foreign Ministry is expected to make clear at a symposium in Tokyo on Thursday Japan’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge renewable energy technologies to countries in the region that have difficulty securing energy.

The ministry is hosting the symposium, the theme of which is energy security and investment in Asia.

A candidate for future export is hydrogen power technology. Japan is currently pursuing the production of hydrogen using renewable sources in Fukushima Prefecture, part of a broader plan to help the prefecture rebuild from the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant disasters.

The government plans to start up one of the world’s biggest hydrogen production facilities by 2020 and take the technologies for transporting and storing hydrogen overseas in future.

Hydrogen power works by combining hydrogen and oxygen to produce an electrical charge, with only water as a byproduct. But the production of hydrogen to supply the reaction is expensive and generally involves fossil fuels at present.

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