Global Warming Is Becoming a More Serious Problem
To prepare for further increase of the demand for primary energy and to stop global warming by reducing CO2 emissions into the air, we need to develop renewable energy as well as nuclear energy.
Fig. 23.1 Explosion of world population
Fig. 23.2 Regional population and energy consumption per person
Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.
Professor Akimasa Sumi and his collaborators have carried out computer simulations using climate models for many years.
According to their results, it seems very very clear that the anthropological emission of greenhouse gases (mainly CO2) is a main contributor to global warming.
We must stop the emission of CO2 to avoid global warming.
The Development of Renewable Energy Must Be Promoted. However, It Will Require Sufficient Resources of Time and Budget
According to the world energy outlook of IEA, the total electric power generation will be increased as shown in Fig. 23.3. The electric power generated by renewable energy is predicted as shown in Fig. 23.4. The electric power generated by renewable energy other than water power will increase very slowly, from about 4 % in 2010 to only 15 % in 2035, whereas the electric power generated by nuclear energy will be kept almost constant from 13 % in 2010 to 12 % in 2035.
We must try to increase renewable energy more as quickly as possible.
In this respect, I commend Germany, which has strived to increase the development of renewable energy (Fig. 23.5) after 2000. In 2010, electricity generated by renewable energy reached 103.5 billion kWh. Deducting that generated by water power, we have 82.9 billion kWh. Total electric power generation in Japan was
976.2 billion kWh in 2010; that is, electric power generated by renewable energy other than water in Germany in 2010 was only 8.5 % of the total electric power generation in Japan in the same year. The electric power generated by nuclear energy in Japan was 300.4 billion kWh in 2010. Therefore, electric power generated in Germany by renewable energy sources other than water in 2010 is only 28 % of this amount. Germany has striven so much in these 10 years from 2000 to 2010, and the average price of electricity per house has doubled; that is, Germany has invested a large budget. It takes many years to increase renewable energy, and the result is still not satisfactory. Even if Japan tries as much as Germany, it will takes at least 30 years to replace nuclear energy by renewable energy. Meanwhile, Japan must depend on fossil fuel, which increases CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. To import fossil fuel, the deficit in foreign trade of Japan, which is now already more than 4 trillion yen (about $40 billion), will continue as the result of the decrease in nuclear energy.
When we stop all nuclear power stations in Japan, renewable energy must be increased, not only to replace nuclear energy but also the energy produced by fossil fuel. Is this really possible in the near future? It is time for us to deliberate upon the future of energy in Japan to guarantee energy security, to avoid global warming, and to stabilize the economy of Japan.
Fig. 23.3 World energy outlook of the International Energy Agency (IEA)
Fig. 23.4 Electric power generated by renewable energy (prediction by IEA)
Fig. 23.5 Development of renewables-based electricity generation in Germany