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EGEB: Japan and Alaska unveil a new draft energy policy, solar and wind power could save droughty countries

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Today on EGEB, Japan updates its toothless energy plan. Oil-producing Alaska seeks carbon-free power to save itself from thawing permafrost. A new report shows how the 20 most water-stressed countries also have the most potential for solar energy and could thus alleviate their people’s thirst by going green.

Japan wants more renewable energy without setting new targets. Nuclear power lovers have held their ground in Japan as the new energy plan still marginalize renewable energy in favor of its atomic counterpart.

“In fiscal 2030, it aims to have renewables account for 22 to 24 percent of electric power generation in the country, while nuclear is intended to comprise 20 to 22 percent.”

Lobbyists insist on promoting nuclear power to decarbonize the economy. Fukushima did not change the mind of Shinzō Abe’s government.

Alaska wants to go half green for its power needs. The Last Frontier released its new draft energy policy in April and it plans for an “energy transition”, where 50% of the state’s electrical needs would be supplied by renewables sources by 2025, up from 33% in 2016. The reason to do so is existential, as:

“The solid permafrost that sits beneath many roads, buildings and pipelines is starting to thaw, destabilizing the infrastructure above. At least 31 coastal towns and cities may need to relocate, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, as protective sea ice vanishes and fierce waves erode Alaska’s shores.”

The state though wants oil and natural gas production to keep growing. 85% of Alaska’s budget is funded through fossil fuels’ royalties.

A recent World resource Institute study underlines the symbiosis between clean power and the fight against water scarcity. As wind and solar power require no water usage contrary to older traditional polluting power sources, the Institute emphasizes that these countries need to transition toward green energy to help their citizens burdened by the competition to get this scarce resource.

The problem is these countries are often unstable and war-torn, making the required investment difficult to implement.

Featured image is from the Department of Energy SunShot program. A unique aerial viewpoint, looking downward at a row of resting Heliostats, early evening hour. Solar Reserve, Crescent Dunes Facility, Tonopah, NV. Photo by Ivan Boden.

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