Japanese Government Delays Decision on Waste as Energy Source

The Japanese government will delay a decision whether to include waste as one of new energy sources in its planned bill to require power companies to use alternative fuels.

TOKYO, Japan 2002-03-13 [SolarAccess.com] The bill, which is scheduled for implementation in April 2003, would require that each power company achieve a government-set annual target for the use of new energy sources in order to help prevent global warming. Power utilities would be required to increase power generation from new sources or purchase electricity generated from those sources. Last December, a subcommittee of an advisory panel to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry named six alternative sources: solar power, wind power, biomass like wood chips, waste, small-scale hydro power and geothermal energy. Because the use of waste is the least costly, however, the panel’s selection was criticized as a likely trigger of an increase in waste incineration, which releases carbon dioxide and pollutants, such as dioxin. The Energy Ministry hopes to eventually designate waste as one option but intends to consult with the Environment Ministry on ways to prevent rapid growth of its use.
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