Japan as a Clean Energy Leader
Over the past several decades, Japan’s energy strategy had positioned it as the world’s leader in clean and efficient electricity production and usage. This strategy, heavily dependent on nuclear energy, was essentially destroyed by one of history’s largest earthquakes, followed by a tsunami which overwhelmed five nuclear reactors on March 11, 2011. As of April 2012, all of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors have been shut down and it is uncertain when and how many may be restarted. This paper examines Japan’s options for crafting a new way forward with an energy policy to power the world’s third largest economy while taking into account the lack of domestic sources of fuel, high government debt, antinuclear sentiments and looming power shortages.