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Policies to improve energy and environmental security, resilience, and reliability (V/V): a case study on Japan

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By Venera N. Anderson

· 35 min read


This is the fifth part of a five-part research paper on improving energy and environmental security, resiliency, and reliability situations in Japan. You can find part one here, part two here, part three here and part four here.

Section five: discussion

As discussed in previous sections, Japan has various interactions between its energy and environmental security, resilience, and reliability. The literature review focuses on these six topics by surveying Japan’s national security, defense, energy, and environmental publications, statistical data, international research reports, scholarly articles, and other secondary sources. First, the section examines energy security’s importance for the country’s energy, policy, security, and defense strategies. It also describes scholarly studies, providing solutions in the context of the current energy transition. Second, the review evaluates the energy resilience-related research on the Japanese electricity system’s transformation and proposals, namely different community responses; the 100% RE electricity system set-up; the “anti-fragile” measures; and blockchain implementation. Third, the section assesses the energy reliability-connected research about the energy storage systems, Japan’s current situation, and the proposal about the regulatory shift to merit order dispatch, renewables and away from nuclear power. Fourth, based on national security/defense publications and a scholarly article, the review evaluates Japan’s focus on environmental security. Fifth, the section examines scholarly research, analyzing the concepts, development opportunities, and the importance of integrated policies for environmental resilience. Lastly, while examining environmental reliability, the review concludes by assessing Japan’s meteorological review of its natural disaster trends and a scholarly article, emphasizing the cooperation of private and public sectors in adapting to the various states of the Japanese environment.

The literature review provides the context for analyzing four proposed sectoral policy options, separately addressing Japan's energy security, energy resilience, energy reliability, and environmental issues (security, resilience, and reliability). The analysis describes ideal actions for achieving the policies' objectives. Policy 1 focuses on energy security by diversifying energy sources and suppliers and strengthening energy systems' cyber/physical security measures. It proposes actions for deploying the short/medium/long term-based energy mixes/technologies, behavioral changes, and cyber/physical security measures. Policy 2 strives to enhance energy resilience by presenting actions necessary for accelerating RE deployment, enhancing existing and building new energy infrastructure, and deploying smart/microgrids and blockchain. Policy 3 concentrates on improving energy reliability by proposing actions to modernize electric grids, focus on cleaner and more reliable energy sources in various time frames and integrate energy storage during the energy transition. Policy 4 combines all environmental issues (security, resilience, and reliability) and proposes improvement actions by focusing on GHG reduction through the change in energy systems and better energy demand and supply management; circular economies for energy, minerals, water, and food systems; the diversification of food sources and suppliers; regenerative farming and agriculture; integrated environmental resilience policies, among others. The analysis also considers the costs and benefits of each policy option, the time frames for their implementations, and negative and positive externalities connected to the tradeoffs among energy and environmental resilience and security, economic resilience and security, and political-military resilience and security.  The analysis leads to the following key findings:

First, the probable unintended consequences connected to the tradeoffs between Japanese energy, environmental, economic, political, and military issues are inevitable. For example, due to the energy crisis (Energy Now Media, 2022), reacknowledging LNG’s role in Japan’s energy transition (through the 2040s) clashes with environmental security but assists energy and economic security objectives. Second, Japanese modernized energy systems, focused on becoming “anti-fragile,” may reliably meet energy demand with sizable additions of nuclear energy, RE, hydrogen, and energy storage. Third, more significant cleaner energy deployment can help reduce fossil fuel dependency and achieve carbon neutrality, strengthening Japan’s energy and environmental security. Fourth, new technologies, more flexible in balancing energy supply and demand, can improve energy demand management and potentially enhance energy resilience and reliability. Fifth, given the enormous waste of resources, new circular economies for energy, water, food, and minerals systems can improve energy and environmental security. Sixth, the diversification in sources and suppliers matters for energy and environmental security. Lastly, the lack of environmental resilience and reliability may negatively affect other aspects of Japan, and other aspects of Japan may affect these factors. 

Japan needs to be on course to meet its 2030 emission reduction target or its 2050 carbon neutrality goal. It does not seem the country will reach them (Bloomberg, 2023). Japan faces multiple environmental security, resilience, and reliability issues. Simultaneously, it must confront energy security, resilience, and reliability challenges. Although the task is complex, the integrated policies, influenced by the SEI’s (Hoff, 2011) nexus framework for water, energy, and food security and the previously proposed sectoral actions for energy and environmental resilience and reliability cross-sectoral policies, might improve Japanese energy and environmental situations. Since water and food security represent only parts of environmental security, the environmental risks actions are also included. The nexus approach is crucial to cross-sectoral policies since “water, food, and energy form a nexus at the heart of sustainable development” (UN Water, 2023). The SEI’s framework’s principles need to guide these policies: 1) economy (creating more with less), 2) environment (investing in sustaining ecosystem services), and 3) society (accelerating better access and integration of the poorest). The SEI’s framework considers climate change, urbanization, and population growth as combined pressures on the limited resources and ecosystems. Governance (enabling factors, incentives), finance, and innovation are essential for the success of these integrated policies (Hoff, 2011). 

Moreover, Japan can follow additional policy recommendations, such as 1) choosing cleaner energy options for the energy transition by comparing their supply chains and lifecycle emissions, 2) realizing that the most meaningful options to strengthen energy situations require longer timeframes and often may not be same actions needed to solve environmental issues, 3) creating a truly circular economy - “system within systems nested in systems and then linked to other systems and a recurring [closed] circle of resources and products” (Sullivan, 2022b) – is essential for solving energy and environmental challenges, and 4) ensuring the just and orderly nature of energy transition, while accounting for various net externalities and tradeoffs. Following these recommendations, the three nexus-integrated policy options with their outcomes and caveats, designed for short/medium/long-term time frames, are presented in Appendix B (Tables 1-3). For the sake of the research paper’s analysis, these policy options do not incorporate the uncertainty of politics connected to implementing these policies.

Since no countries are energy-independent (Bazilian and Hendrix, 2022; Sullivan, 2021a), there are interconnected political, economic, and military impacts of breaches on energy security, reliability, and resilience. At the same time, climate change, water, and food security are global issues that can only be solved through international cooperation. Moreover, the energy and environmental security-related global supply chains need to be considered at all levels. Thus, outside entities, such as alliances, other nation-states, international organizations, and trading and investment partners, can help make the integrated policies for Japan more successful. 

Due to Japanese dependency on energy, food, and minerals imports, diplomatic efforts across ally/partner nations and competitor/possible enemies are crucial to reduce tensions and alleviate risks to the international choke points not only for oil, LNG, and food but also for the future green hydrogen, ammonia, and critical minerals shipping trades. These chokepoints (South China Sea, East China Sea, Hormuz, etc.) represent an essential part of global energy and environmental security due to the high volume of petroleum, food, and other materials being transported through these global chokepoints by maritime routes (EIA, 2017). The Japanese diplomatic efforts to alleviate energy and environmental security risks to chokepoints are significant across competitors and possible enemies (China and Russia). Japan should note that, due to current global tensions related to a potential Great Powers Conflict (CFR, 2023), the priority of military solutions before diplomatic ones might lead to strategic blunders (Gompert et al., 2014), hurting the security of global chokepoints. Furthermore, since cleaner energy sources bring geopolitical risks, Japan must work closely with allies and organizations to accumulate critical minerals, the building blocks of cleaner energy solutions. For example, Japan signed the US-Japan Critical Minerals Agreement, which secures these countries’ commitment to enhance supply chains and promote electric battery technologies (Wan, 2023). Japan should also become a more assertive participant as an observer at the Arctic Council (Kaneko, 2021) to enhance its energy and environmental security (Kaneko, 2021). Lastly, Japan should work with the UNDP (2023) and USAID (MFAJ, 2003) to deliver sustainable development results and ensure economic justice for the mineral mining workforces in developing countries. To pay for the high cost of the presented nexus-integrated policies, Japan might need to borrow additional funds from the World Bank (2021) and seek additional global investment partners. 

Conclusion

Location, topography, climate, culture, and the constant emphasis on education were crucial in developing Japan as a unique island nation with “a remarkable track record of confronting and transcending adversity” (Pilling, 2015; Henshall, 2012). Japan needs to confront and transcend its current energy and environmental challenges. In a world dominated by net-zero arguments, it is crucial to devise integrated policies, simultaneously accounting for energy and environmental security, resilience, and reliability issues. No studies in the public domain present integrated policies for Japan on these issues based on the nexus frameworks. This study attempts to fill this lacuna.

Appendix A

Figure 1. Japan’s generation by source or energy, 2012-2021

Japan’s generation by source or energy, 2012-2021

Note: Japan’s generation by source, 2012-2021 (Figure 6). From Country Analysis Brief: Japan (p.9) by U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2023. 

Figure 2. Japan’s Energy Balance (2020)

Japan’s Energy Balance (2020)

Note: Japan - Sankey Diagram. From The Energy Mix by International Energy Agency (2023d)

Figure 3. Energy consumption by source, Japan 

Energy consumption by source, Japan

Note: Energy consumption by source, Japan. From Japan: What sources does the country get its energy from? From OurWorldIndata.org (2023).

Appendix B

Table 1.  Nexus – Integrated Policy (Short-Term) (2023-2030)

Nexus Sectors (energy, water, and food security) Environmental Security (Env. Risks) Energy Resilience and Reliability  Environmental Resilience and Reliability

Governance: Set medium-term policy targets and avenues for public-private sector collaboration; set phaseout targets for fossil-fueled vehicles; re-do hydrogen policy; create policy tools, encourage business participation for coal phaseout and renewable generation deployment (solar and wind, especially, offshore) for 2030 and beyond to lessen market and policy uncertainties (Shiraishi et al.; Obiyashi, 2023). 

Innovation: Identify the best energy efficiency technologies that can positively affect water/food security, and electrify mobility to reduce fossil fuels dependence (IEA, 2021; BloombergNEF, 2023).

Environment: While expanding LNG infrastructure (terminals/storage), consider water/food security issues

Environment: Support RE deployment with the smallest water footprints (solar, wind, geothermal) (UN Water, 2023)

Economy: Increase awareness about water footprints and virtual water trades for consumers and suppliers to improve water security (Sullivan, 2021)

Environment: While restarting and constructing new nuclear power reactors, consider water/food security issues with an effect on local communities

Finance/Innovation: Move hydrogen subsidies to focus on critical cleaner hydrogen applications in the "hard-to-abate" sectors; build relationships with global hydrogen suppliers (Ishihara and Ohno, 2023; Nakano, 2021, 2022; Delatte, 2023; Collins, 2022; ASEP, 2017)

Economy/Innovation: Start creating energy, food, water, minerals, and circular economies

Economy/Environment/Society: Start diversifying energy, food, minerals sources and suppliers 

Economy: Promote "Sound Hydrological Cycles;" conserve groundwater; reuse wastewater for energy production; redevelop existing dams for better water storage and reallocation of water supply (MLITT, 2008).

Society: Promote consumer behavioral changes for energy, food, and water conservation to accelerate access to limited resources for the poorest

Environment/Economy: Prevent and mitigate cybersecurity and  physical challenges during cleaner energy transition (METI, 2019) 

Create / amend policies for reducing GHG emissions through the change in energy systems (low/zero carbon energy solutions) and better energy demand and supply management.

Continue getting involved in the Arctic issues, through multilateral organizations, due to the effect on climate change and  fisheries (Sullivan, 2023a)

Promote circular carbon economy; circular economies for minerals and nuclear power industry (Sullivan, 2022b)

Promote and use regenerative farming and agriculture (NDRC, 2021)

Grow forests to absorb CO2 emissions (Sullivan, 2023e)

Accelerate RE (solar and wind) deployment to enhance electricity resilience (Esteban and Portugal-Pereira, 2014; Cong and Gomi, 2020).

Start building new interregional transmission infrastructure (Shiraishi et al., 2023).

Support and build necessary natural gas interconnection lines based on 2015 Gas Business Act (IEA, 2022).

Per 6th Strategic Energy Plan, implement the master plan in a "push-type approach" to upgrade the cross-regional interconnection lines. The rules of use of power grids need to be reviewed so RE can use the bulk system preferentially to coal-fired power (METI, 2021)

Per 6th Strategic Energy Plan, reinforce measures for fallen trees, and prepare against cyber-attacks for new RE power suppliers and existing power suppliers  (METI, 2021).

Continue replacing low-pressure gas pipes with polyethylene pipes and high seismic-resistant pipes. Due to increasing uncertainties of frequent disasters, prepare effective preventative measures to become "anti-fragile" (IEA, 2022; Sullivan, 2023)

Start building micro-grids to enhance local resilience (SGE, 2022)

Test blockchain in energy distribution similar to KEPCO (Loseva et al., 2020).

Modernize the existing power grids, and install extra high-voltage underground transmission cables  for energy reliability (DOE, 2023b; IEA, 2021)

Retain natural gas power plants to balance seasonal and cross-day variations against solar and wind generation for energy reliability (Shiraishi et al., 2023)

Start building smart and more digitilized grids to better match the supply and demand of electricity in real-time to assure grid reliability (ETS, IEA; 2023) 

Begin energy storage integration (batteries; pumped hydro with 21,894MW capacity) alongside RE deployment to support Policy 1 (Shiraishi et al., 2023; Pescia, 2019; IRENA, 2020).  

Implement cyber and physical security measures for energy resilience and reliability

Start building micro-grids in communities, similar to the one in Mutzugaw, to support local energy reliability efforts (JapanGov, 2021)

 

Promote regenerative farming and  agriculture (NDRC, 2021)                                                          

Protect coral reefs, and prevent and mitigate future bleaching events through reef rescue/rebuild operations (Sullivan, 2022c; Zerkel, 2023)

Promote integrated policies, and resilience capacity building throughout cities and regions (Osman, 2021; Huang et al., 2023; Ebisudani, 2016; Hunt, 2009)

Invest in initiatives and workforce (knowledge of geology/environmental sciences) that can help understand, prepare, and adapt the country for the changing (reliable or disruptive) conditions of the environment that can affect other aspects of the country. 

Promote adaptation collaboration initiatives (public/private) for disaster risks (Mavrodieva and Shaw, 2020)

Caveats:

  1. Although the policy appears technically and politically feasible, and within the bounds of reasonable possibilities, there is uncertainty about the total cost of all implementations.  
    Besides the Japanese government's investment in decarbonization technologies through the Green Innovation Fund and Green Transformation Bonds (Shiraishi et al., 2023),  
    additional government and private sector investment might be required for financing solutions for energy and environmental security, resilience and reliability challenges.
  2. Further assessment is required to understand the operational impacts of the full portfolio of cleaner energy technology on Japanese energy systems.
  3. The cleaner energy transition depends on the sustainable supply chains for critical minerals; LNG and hydrogen/ammonia imports on trade/political/military stability at chokepoints and beyond.
  4. Wars/pandemics can severely impact the supply chains (food and energy) between Japan and other countries.
  5. Internal public resistance (communities and businesses) to the fast cleaner energy transition might present roadblocks to the policy implementation.

Policy Outcomes:

Besides setting the ground stage for energy and  environmental resilience and reliability and security (env. risks) success, the policy accomplishes the following in the nexus sectors:

  • Governance: Lessens market and policy uncertainties.
  • Innovation: Helps identify and implement the best systems-efficient technologies for cross-sectoral applications.
  • Finance: Establishes the best uses for government subsidies and avenues for public and private sector collaboration.
  • Economy: "Creating more with less" becomes possible with the initial set-up of circular economies.
  • Society: The start of cross-sectoral solutions can assist in accelerating access and integration of the poorest in society. 

Effective actions for energy & environmental resilience and reliability and environmental security (env. risks / climate change). 

Table 2. Nexus - Integrated Policy (Medium-Term) (2030-2050)

Nexus Sectors (energy, water, and food security) Environmental Security (Env. Risks) Energy Resilience and Reliability Environmental Resilience and Reliability

Environment/Society/Governance: Accelerate the price of carbon to complete the coal power phaseout in 2035. 1) Mitigate socio-economic impacts of coal phaseout with transition assistance programs (local communities and businesses); 2) Utilize carbon revenues to reimburse businesses and households to reduce the tax burden by paying for part of the utility expenditures (Shiraishi et al., 2023).

Environment: Support RE capacity additions (Shiraishi et al., 2023) through private and  private sector financing and involvement while considering water and food security issues 

Economy/Environment: Focus on energy efficiency and electrification to reduce fossil fuels dependence, especially, oil (IEA, 2021; BloombergNEF, 2023) while considering the water footprint in energy production

Environment: Consider the impact on water security during the use of existing LNG infrastructure

Environment: Utilize offshore wind energy and direct seawater electrolysis for domestic green hydrogen production (Pagani et al.; Wu, 2023) due to rather minimal impact on water and  food security

Environment: Continue restarting operable nuclear reactors (WNA, 2023); new reactors (SMRs) but consider water security issues. Desalination as a co-generation use can help water security.

Environment/Society: Tap geothermal resources (23 GW) and educate the communities about its necessity for energy and  water security (Ozawa and Balmer; Baseload Power Japan, 2023) and accelerate the access to the poorest to the energy resources to the poorest

Environment/Economy/Innovation: Test tidal and wave energy potential  (Newcomb, 2022; Aand J, 2017) due to minimal impact on water/food security

Economy/Environment/Innovation: Continue energy, food, water, and minerals circular economies

Economy/Environment/Society: Diversify energy, food, and minerals sources and suppliers 

Economy/Environment/Society: Promote consumer behavioral changes for energy, food, and water conservation to enable better access to the limited resources for the poorest in the community

Society: Apply concepts of water footprints and virtual water trades for consumers and suppliers in water security policies (Sullivan, 2021) that can also accelerate the access to water for the poorest

Environment/Society: Promote "Sound Hydrological Cycles;" conserve groundwater; reuse wastewater for energy production; redevelop existing dams for better water storage and reallocation of water supply (MLITT, 2008).

Economy/Environment: Focus on cleaner hydrogen (blue and green) production for critical "hard-to-abate" sectors while considering water security issues. Prioritize green hydrogen (Ishihara and Ohno, 2023), especially, made using industrial and municipal wastewater  (Rodriguez et al., 2023) and obtain the rest from reliable clean hydrogen suppliers. 

Environment: Strengthen minerals supplier relationships and diversify sources, including those from the Arctic (EEA, n.d.)

Economy/Environment: Adapt, prevent, and mitigate cyber and  physical security challenges in the cleaner energy transition

Continue GHG reduction through the change in energy systems (low/zero carbon energy solutions) and better energy demand and supply management (Policy 1) to reach net zero in 2050 and beyond.

Stay proactive in the Arctic issues, through multilateral organizations, due to the effect on climate change and  fisheries (Sullivan, 2023a)

Establish a circular carbon economy; circular economies for minerals and nuclear power industry (Sullivan, 2022b)

Apply regenerative farming and  agriculture (NDRC, 2021)

Grow forests to absorb CO2 emissions (Sullivan, 2023e)

Maintain RE (solar and wind) deployment to enhance electricity resilience (Esteban and Portugal-Pereira, 2014; Cong and  Gomi, 2020)

Continue building interregional transmission infrastructure (Shiraishi et al., 2023)

Build smart and more digitalized grids to handle the large increases in electricity demand and accelerated RE roll-out, which places more demand on power grids (ETS, IEA; 2023)

Stop building natural gas interconnection lines by 2040 to avoid the "stranded assets" problem in the future (IEA, 2022).

Continue replacing low-pressure gas pipes with polyethylene pipes and high seismic-resistant pipes. Due to increasing uncertainties of frequent disasters, prepare effective preventative measures to become "anti-fragile" (IEA, 2022; Sullivan, 2023j)

Continue modernizing the electric grids for energy reliability

Deploy micro-grids (SGE, 2022) for energy resilience and  reliability

Deploy blockchain to improve secure transactive energy applications and improve smart grid cyber resiliency (Myrlea et al., 2017; Ahl et al, 2020)

Retain natural gas plants and slowly replace them with other reliable baseload power sources, such as nuclear (IIEJ, 2023)

Ensure stable LNG supply (Policy 1) to avoid instability in electricity supply (IIEJ, 2023); however, in the 2040s start relying more on nuclear power and RE (solar, wind, geothermal)

Deploy energy storage (especially, batteries, pumped hydro, and hydrogen) along RE to support Policy 1 (Shiraishi et al., Sullivan, 2023; Wakeyama, 2018; McIlwaine et al., 2019)

Implement cyber and physical security measures for energy resilience and reliability

Apply regenerative farming and  agriculture 

Protect coral reefs, and prevent and mitigate future bleaching events through reef rescue/rebuild operations (Sullivan, 2022c; Zerkel, 2023)

Promote integrated policies, resilience capacity building throughout cities and regions (Osman, 2021; Huang et al., 2023; Ebisudani, 2016; Hunt, 2009)

Continue investing in initiatives and workforce (knowledge of geology/environmental sciences) that can help understand, prepare, and adapt the country for the changing (reliable or disruptive) conditions of the environment that can affect other aspects of the country. 

Continue promoting adaptation collaboration initiatives (public/private) for disaster risks (Mavrodieva and Shaw, 2020)

Caveats:

  1. Although the policy appears technically and politically feasible, and within the bounds of reasonable possibilities, there is uncertainty about the total cost of such implementations.  
    Besides the Japanese government's investment in decarbonization technologies through the Green Innovation Fund and Green Transformation Bonds (Shiraishi et al., 2023),  
    additional government and private sector investment might be required for financing solutions for energy and environmental resilience and reliability challenges.
  2. Further assessment is required to understand the operational impacts of the full portfolio of cleaner energy technology on Japanese energy systems.
  3. The cleaner energy transition depends on the sustainable supply chains for critical minerals; LNG and hydrogen/ammonia imports on trade/political/military stability at chokepoints and beyond.
  4. Wars/pandemics can severely impact the supply chains (food and energy) between Japan and other countries.
  5. Internal public resistance (communities and businesses) to the fast cleaner energy transition might present roadblocks to the policy implementation.

Policy Outcomes:

Besides continuing the progress for energy and  environmental resilience and reliability and security (env. risks) success, the policy accomplishes the following in the nexus sectors:

  • Governance: Assists in accelerating and completing the phaseout of coal-fired plants.
  • Innovation: Implements the best nexus systems-efficient energy technologies (i.e. geothermal, tidal, and wave) for cross-sectoral applications.
  • Finance: Establishes avenues for public and private sector collaboration in financing the cleaner energies roll-out.
  • Economy: "Creating more with less" becomes possible with accelerating circular economies; producing green hydrogen from wastewater, desalination as a co-product of nuclear power generation, etc.
  • Society: The start of cross-sectoral solutions can assist in accelerating access and integration of the poorest in society.  Targeted assistance policies help pursue a just energy transition.

Effective actions for energy & environmental resilience and reliability and environmental security (env. risks/climate change). 

Table 3. Nexus - Integrated Policy (Long-Term) (2050-beyond)

Nexus Sectors (energy, water, and food security) Environmental Security (Env. Risks) Energy Resilience and Reliability Environmental Resilience and Reliability

Environment/Finance: Support/upgrade RE deployment based on new technologies considering the impact on water/food security.  Involve public and private sector partners for continued financing

Economy/Environment/Innovation: Use energy, food, water, and minerals in circular economies

Economy/Environment/Society: Diversify energy, food, and minerals sources and suppliers

Economy/Environment/Innovation/Finance/Society: Create policy tools and incentives to implement eventual oil phaseout; Support energy efficiency, and electrification, accounting for an impact on water/food security. Mitigate socioeconomic impacts of fossil-fuel phase-out with transition assistance programs for communities and businesses.

Economy/Environment/Governance: Create policy tools and incentives for the phase-out of "transition assets" and transfer into cleaner energy hubs by providing carbon credits or assisting in creating a carbon retirement portfolio (Bordoff and O'Sullivan, 2022; Handler and Bazilian, 2021)

Environment/Society: Utilize "Sound Hydrological Cycles;" conserve groundwater; reuse waste water for energy production; and redevelop existing dams for better water storage and reallocation of water supply (MLITT, 2008).

Environment/Economy: Accounting for the water security impact, operate existing nuclear reactors; retire old models and bring new nuclear technologies to ensure cleaner and more reliable baseload power source. Seawater desalination, as a co-generation use of nuclear generation will be helpful for water security

Environment/Society/Innovation: Utilize geothermal potential and continue educating the public about the minimal impact on water security and  accelerate access to these energy resources for the poorest

Innovation/Economy/Environment: Use tidal and wave energy commercially due to minimal impact on water/food security

Economy/Environment/Society: Promote consumer behavioral changes for energy, food, and water conservation to enable better access to the limited resources for the poorest in the community

Innovation/Governance: Apply concepts of water footprints and virtual water trades for consumers and suppliers in water security policies (Sullivan, 2021)

Economy/Environment: Focus on cleaner hydrogen production, prioritizing the substantial increase of domestic green (preferably, from industrial and municipal wastewater) and pink hydrogen. Diversify sources and suppliers.

Economy/Innovation: Continue energy, food, water, and minerals circular economies

Environment: Strengthen minerals supplier relationships and diversify sources, including those from the Arctic (EEA, n.d.)

Economy/Environment: Adapt, prevent, and mitigate cyber and physical security challenges in the cleaner energy transition

Continue GHG reduction through the change in energy systems (low/zero carbon energy solutions) and better energy demand and supply management (Policy 1) to reach net zero in 2050 and beyond.Stay proactive in the Arctic issues, through multilateral organizations, due to the effect on climate change and  fisheries (Sullivan, 2023a)

Apply regenerative farming and  agriculture (NDRC, 2021)

Apply circular economies for minerals and nuclear power industry (Sullivan, 2022b)

Grow forests to absorb CO2 emissions (Sullivan, 2023d)

Maintain RE (solar and wind) deployment to enhance electricity resilience (Esteban and Portugal-Pereira, 2014)

Maintain and upgrade interregional transmission infrastructure (Shiraishi et al., 2023)

Maintain smart and digitalized grids (ETS, 2023); micro-grids

Use blockchain in energy systems

Continue modernizing the electric grids and energy storage for resilience and reliability

Rely on nuclear energy as the main reliable zero-emission baseload power source (IIEJ, 2023).

Use nuclear power and support (see Policy 1) to have a reliable and efficient low-carbon energy source that can help fight the climate crisis (Aand J, 2017)

Apply cyber and physical security measures for energy resilience and reliability

Apply regenerative farming and  agriculture

Protect coral reefs, and prevent and mitigate future bleaching events through reef rescue/rebuild operations (Sullivan, 2022c; Zerkel, 2023)

Apply integrated policies, resilience capacity building throughout cities and regions (Osman, 2021; Huang et al., 2023; Ebisudani, 2016; Hunt, 2009)

Continue investing in initiatives and workforce (knowledge of geology/environmental sciences) that can help understand, prepare, and adapt the country for the changing (reliable or disruptive) conditions of the environment that can affect other aspects of the country.

Continue promoting adaptation collaboration initiatives (public/private) for disaster risks (Mavrodieva and Shaw, 2020)

 

Caveats:

  1. Although the policy appears technically and politically feasible, and within the bounds of reasonable possibilities, there is uncertainty about the total cost of such implementations.  
    Besides the Japanese government's investment in decarbonization technologies through the Green Innovation Fund and Green Transformation Bonds (Shiraishi et al., 2023),  
    additional government and private sector investment might be required for financing solutions for energy and environmental resilience and reliability challenges.
  2. Further assessment is required to understand the operational impacts of the full portfolio of cleaner energy technology on Japanese energy systems.
  3. The cleaner energy transition depends on the sustainable supply chains for critical minerals; LNG and hydrogen/ammonia imports on trade/political/military stability at chokepoints and beyond.
  4. Wars/pandemics can severely impact the supply chains (food and energy) between Japan and other countries.
  5. Internal public resistance (communities and businesses) to the fast cleaner energy transition might present roadblocks to the policy implementation.

Policy Outcomes:

Besides continuing the progress for energy and  environmental resilience and reliability and security (env. risks) success, the policy accomplishes the following in the nexus sectors:

  • Governance: Assists in accelerating and completing the phaseout of coal-fired plants.
  • Innovation: Implements the best nexus systems-efficient energy technologies (i.e. geothermal, tidal, and wave) for cross-sectoral applications.
  • Finance: Establishes avenues for public and private sector collaboration in financing the cleaner energies roll-out.
  • Economy: "Creating more with less" becomes possible with accelerating circular economies; producing green hydrogen from wastewater, desalination as a co-product of nuclear power generation, etc.
  • Society: The start of cross-sectoral solutions can assist in accelerating access and integration of the poorest in society.  Targeted assistance policies help pursue a just energy transition.

Effective actions for energy & environmental resilience and reliability and environmental security (env. risks/climate change). 

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Dr. Venera N. Anderson is a global strategy advisor and published author on sustainability and climate issues. She creates and implements innovative solutions that address the world’s most pressing issues, such as climate change, economic development, and humanitarian challenges. She is a member of the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council. Venera is a co-author of the "Touching Hydrogen Future" book (2nd edition). She is also an International Expert at Women in Green Hydrogen, a global network which strives to increase the visibility and amplify the voices of women working in the green hydrogen sector, and a Speaker at Tech Up for Women and the Wall Street Green Summit about her vision for coastal U.S. green hydrogen hubs.

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