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  5. The Significance of Local Energy Governance: Current Situation and Challenges for the Future

2012 Vol.3
The Significance of Local Energy Governance: Current Situation and Challenges for the Future

2012/07/01

Local energy governance can be defined as the efforts of local communities to manage their own energy supply and demand and to expand their authority to a realistic level that will enhance citizens` welfare in normal times and preserve energy for an emergency. It is an effective concept for local communities that can be linked to increased local employment in the energy industry in normal times and to their sustainability and resilience in times of an emergency. In order to achieve this, it is important to introduce demand-side perspectives and to secure continuity between normal times and emergency situations. However, only scarce attention is being given to the introduction of sustainable energy at local level and the development of smart communities. Therefore, demand-side perspectives should be introduced at the initial stage of developing the basic plan, and local consensus should be sought with a social logic that gives consideration to job creation effects in normal times and the importance of autonomous energy sources in an emergency, such as in a disaster. However, unlike in Germany where local public enterprises supply energy such as heat, private enterprises have historically done this in Japan. Henceforth, it would be more realistic to introduce public perspectives into private enterprises utilizing private know-how in Japan`s electric power industry. In the context of heat supply, a possible future direction is to generate sustainable energy at local level in line with redeveloping urban infrastructure in this age of population decline.

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