Thursday, February 23, 2012

No. 116: Growing industry-government collaboration for an energy saving society (February 24, 2012)

Business trend
Apartments featured by energy saving are selling well in the Tokyo metropolitan district. For example, an apartment complex that introduced an energy management system puts off lights in the common place automatically depending on the situation in summer, runs air-conditioners in the energy-saving mode, and has a large-scale photovoltaic generation on the roof. Each apartment is equipped with a terminal to know its power consumption. This apartment complex is part of the ongoing regional project under the initiative of Toshiba and Yokohama city to increase the efficiency of power consumption.

Saitama city is working with Honda to build an environment-conscious city. Honda will construct an experimental house before the front gate of Saitama University coming spring. In this experimental house, such Honda’s technology as photovoltaic generation, household gas generator, and collecting power form an EV in an emergency will be utilized fully. Tokyo metropolitan government and Mitsubishi Estate will start the experiment of smart grid and install smart meters in several buildings to monitor power consumption. Tokyo plans to ask real estate companies to introduce the model to be developed in the project in the future. In Chiba Prefecture, Tokyo University and Mitsui Fudosan are working together on a system to utilize photovoltaic generation, gas electric power generation, and bio generation using garbage. Power interchange between multiple facilities is also being planned.

The moves to create energy are also spreading. Tokyo will establish a fund of several tens of billion yen coming June to subsidize redevelopment companies that introduce the cogeneration system. Kanagawa Prefecture will build a large-scale photovoltaic generation plant to supply power to 518 households this fall.

According to a research firm, the infrastructure business to construct an energy saving society will grow 3.7 times over the level in 2010 to about 3,300 billion yen in 2020. With the background of this rapid growth, industry-government collaboration is expected become widespread.  

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