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  5. Potential to Shift toward New Lifestyles as a Response to this Spring’s Earthquake Disaster

2011 Vol.3
Potential to Shift toward New Lifestyles as a Response to this Spring’s Earthquake Disaster


The Great East Japan Earthquake forced the government to review Japan’s energy supply system which had been leaning toward the use of electric power and nuclear power. With all electricity users requested to conserve electricity by 15% to ease concerns about electricity shortages this summer, this may be a good opportunity to make a shift toward energy-saving lifestyles which differ from lifestyles that we have previously chosen. This paper describes an energy society around the year 2050 that Japan should pursue, with reference to the 2000-Watt Society advocated by Switzerland, a society free of fossil fuel consumption as Denmark aims to become, and the 2050 Pathways Analysis put forth by the UK.
The energy society that Japan should pursue
– All energy sources will be renewable energies (a society free of nuclear power and fossil fuel)
– The amount of final energy consumption will be less than a half the current amount
– A policy of consuming energy produced locally will be spread nationwide through, for example, the creation of regional energy selfsufficient societies
– Households will occupy net zero-energy homes (ZEH) and offices will be located in net zero-energy buildings (ZEB)
– Electric vehicles will be widely used not only as means of transportation, but also as batteries in an energy self-sufficient society
– The main business of electric companies will be support for energy management at homes and offices, which will be the main actors for energy production and distribution.
This paper advocates the commencement of efforts toward such social shifts in locations where the entire local energy demand can be covered by local natural renewable energies on a calorimetric basis, followed by the promotion of regional efforts to save energy through the construction of ZEHs and ZEBs. This paper also shows the importance of developing technologies for the storage of electricity and heat.