Professor Aleh Cherp of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy at CEU dispels a popular misconception that it was Fukushima’s nuclear disaster that forced Japan to develop renewable energy in a recent letter entitled Energy policy: Renewables targeted before Fukushima, published in scientific journal Nature.
Cherp published the letter with Jessica Jewell (EnvSci '09 and PhD'13), a research fellow at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, and partner in POLET (POLitical Economy of Energy Transitions), a project within CEU’s "Energy and Society" intellectual theme.
Cherp and Jewell compared Japan’s energy plans for 2030 made in 2010 and 2014 to show that the post-Fukushima plans replaced lost nuclear power by fossils, not by solar and wind. In addition, they show that Japan had been a global frontrunner in both nuclear and solar power for decades before Fukushima. The observation that nuclear and renewable energy did not compete in Japan goes against the widely held view of the inevitable conflict between these two low-carbon energy sources.