Solar Power Producers Form Industry Group in Japan

JSEC inaugurated with 140 firms

2019/03/07 17:13
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
The ceremony to celebrate the establishment of JSEC (source: Nikkei BP)

Japan Sustainable Energy Council (JSEC, a general incorporated association) was established as an industry group of solar power producers Feb 27, 2019.

At the time of the inauguration, the number of supporters was about 140 (businesses and individuals). And Takayuki Higashibara of Yamasa (Niimi City, Okayama Prefecture) became the representative director of JSEC. The office of the association is located in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

A ceremony to celebrate the establishment of JSEC took place Feb 28, 2019, in Tokyo. In the ceremony, (1) Koichi Tani (a member of the House of Representatives, the chairperson of the Committee of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)), (2) Akihiko Mihara (a member of the House of Representatives, a member of the Committee of Economy, Trade and Industry, the LDP), (3) Tatsuro Sagawa (deputy director, the Office of Recycling Promotion, the Ministry of the Environment), etc took the podium and delivered congratulatory addresses.

Also, Yoshiaki Harada (the Minister of the Environment) and Takuya Yamazaki (the New Energy Section of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)) sent video messages for the ceremony.

The establishment of JSEC was triggered by the new measures against "long-term unoperated projects" that METI announced in October 2018. Because the measures have a great impact on solar power plants that have already started to be constructed, solar power producers voluntarily gathered in the Lower House Diet Members' Office Buildings, etc, exchanged opinions and formed written opinions. And the participants became members of the parent organization of JSEC.

"We learned that, even when each company individually submits a petition to the government, our demands are not listened to," Higashibara said. "So, we found it crucial to have an industry group that can summarize opinions of solar power producers and make proposals."

Based on this common understanding, they had been preparing for the establishment of JSEC.

At the ceremony to celebrate the establishment, Higashibara announced the following three principles behind activities. First, JSEC aims to spread, develop and sustain renewable energy across nations, regions, power sources and businesses. Second, it will propose policies for using renewable energy as a main power source by assembling knowledge and intelligence from all over the world. Third, it will make the general public know that the social benefits of renewable energy are S + 3E (safety + environment, economic efficiency and energy security).

JSEC will have study meetings on a regular basis and make proposals concerning renewable energy policies by, for example, collecting opinions from renewable energy-based power producers.

As an industry group for solar power generation, there has already been Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA). But its directors are mostly major Japanese solar panel manufactures such as Solar Frontier KK, Kaneka Corp, Kyocera Corp, Panasonic Corp and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. So, it is practically a congregation of companies that manufacture and install solar power generation systems.

When METI announced the measures against long-term unoperated projects in October 2018, JPEA was not able to fully understand their impact and summarized opinions by sending questionnaires to power producers.