ADAPTATION MEASURE 028
If we rely on energy generated in places far from where we live and cannot circulate energy locally, we will end up with a fragile energy society that cannot cope with disasters.
If we can create a system in which renewable energy is produced and used locally, and if we can create a system in which the energy trade can contribute to local revitalization, we can become a region that is resilient to disasters.
In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a major cause of climate change, renewable energies such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass are being developed on a global scale. However, renewable energy generation facilities often degrade the landscape and consume local resources while not returning any revenue to the local community. Local energy production for local consumption, which is necessary for a region to become resilient to disasters, will not be realized if it is not circulated locally.
This distorted relationship between renewable energy power plants and local communities, as well as in the interregional distribution of renewable energy, is becoming another global issue.
Against this backdrop, services have emerged in recent years to build a sustainable regional recycling symbiosis of renewable energy. Such services include those that return profits generated from local renewable energy to the community and those that provide a bidding mechanism to circulate electricity within the community. It can be said that locally produced, locally consumed renewable energy that builds a symbiotic relationship with the community is essential for making the community sustainable.
"e.CYCLE," local production for local consumption and inter-city distribution of renewable energy
“e.CYCLE” is a renewable energy aggregation service that realizes local energy production for local consumption and inter-city distribution of renewable energy by entrusting electricity from renewable energy power plants and selling it wholesale to nearby retailers who have funds for local revitalization.
A scheme has been established in Fukushima after the Great East Japan earthquake, and spread throughout Japan. Under this model, electricity from local renewable energy power plants is collected and bid to the power company, and 75% of the sales commission is returned to the community as a fund for community revitalization. Various projects have been carried out to revitalize the community with this fund.
The service has formed partnership agreements with municipalities across Japan and has developed local brands such as “e.CYCLE YOKOHAMA” and “e.CYCLE AIZUWAKAMATSU” that allow each community to engage in local renewable energy distribution as its own business. It has grown into a platform that distributes approximately 0.1% of the nation’s renewable energy, which is approximately 300 million kWh of electricity.
“e.CYCLE CHIYODA” Website
"e. Power Plant Certification," a certification to build a good relationship between the community and the power plant
In order to promote local energy production for local consumption, it is important to encourage power plant owners to participate in a network that circulates renewable energy as much as possible in the region where it is located. This will also lead to the revitalization of the region. In this context, the “e. Power Plant Certification” was born, in which local governments in the areas where power plants are located give awards to companies that own power plants and encourage them to focus their attention on regional revitalization.
Power plant owners are supposed to seek a good relationship with the local community, but without detailed arrangements for building such a relationship, it is difficult for the community and the power plant to be connected. Eventually, a renewable energy system that does not care about the local community will be formed.
Various measures to link renewable energy power plants to the community will make the community more energy self-sufficient.
Visualization of local renewable energy with special stickers
Renewable energy is not only good for the global environment, but also helps promote local energy production for local consumption. However, electricity has no color or shape, so even if you use local renewable energy, no one will notice it unless you have a way to make it visible. Therefore, it is effective to have a design feature that allows electricity consumers who use local renewable energy to proudly show their choice of electricity to those around them.
The above-mentioned “e.CYCLE” program provides consumers with special stickers that display the use of renewable energy sources. By having customers place these stickers around their doorknobs, it is possible to visualize the use of renewable energy which is beneficial to the community. Renewable energy can be more expensive than regular electricity, but by encouraging visibility in the form of branding, it is possible to promote the spread of renewable energy.
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