The Silicon Valley Japan Platform hosted the Benkyokai webinar, “Japan’s Energy Sector: Changes and Innovations for Sustainability”. The speakers provided an overview of the Japanese energy sector including recent changes and innovations. The monopoly power of Japan’s ten electric utilities and the scale/costs of sunk investments in fossil-fuel and nuclear facilities for generating and distributing electricity have posed high barriers to the widespread adoption of renewable energy (measurably higher than in the United States). However, several renewable energy companies such as Renova and Trende are working to expand the share of renewable energy in Japan with innovative new technologies and business models.
Two recommended energy articles were shared as preparation material for the event: