New power generation
How green energy is revolutionizing Japan – from four companies taking renewables to the next level to aid the government’s plans to get to net zero emissions
Four companies revolutionizing sustainability in Japan
Minna-Denryoku is the first company in the world to deploy an ‘electric power traceability system’, allowing corporations to choose exactly who produces their electricity and how. Those who sign up can pick from around 290 contracted power plants, including a biomass power plant that uses wood-based waste generated in cities, a state-of-the-art wind power plant that floats on the sea, and a solar power facility built on a plot of land that was damaged by the tsunami. As households sign a contract with the company only when they are satisfied with the people, location, and principles behind its energy production process, it makes it possible to lead a life that’s supported by renewable energy. The company’s efforts to forge strong relationships between people and power were recognised with an award at the 4th Japan SDGs Awards, which recognizes companies and organizations in Japan that have made important contributions to achieving sustainable development goals.
Minna-Denryoku, Suntowers Center Building 8F, 2-11-22 Sangenjaya, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo. +81 03-6805-2228.
2. Hachidori Denryoku
Hachidori Denryoku is an electric power service started in April 2020 by Borderless Japan, an organization that is working to address social issues in 13 countries around the world. It provides electrical power generated from renewable and environment-friendly sources and also lets its customers donate one percent of their electricity bill to one of the many non-profit organizations Borderless Japan supports around the world, helping them tackle a wide range of education, poverty and environmental problems. Another one percent of bills is set aside in the “Hachidori Fund” to invest in the construction of new renewable energy power plants, allowing users to invest in the future of our planet simply by continuing to use electricity as usual.
3. Taiyo Jyuken
Power company Taiyo Jyuken is taking on the problem of Japan’s increasing numbers of abandoned properties and turning them into mini power plants. Its Solar Crew renovates abandoned homes, transforming them into community centers while also installing solar panels to provide renewable energy for the local population. These new power-pumping centers even double as emergency evacuation shelters in case of natural disasters. Taiyo Jyuken proactively employs people with disabilities and involves local residents throughout the planning and conversion process to create places that work both for the community and the planet.
Taiyo Jyuken, 4-1-30 Nakahara, Isogo-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa prefecture. +81 045-325-7133.
4. Akatsuki Brewery Japan Hachimantai Factory
This unique brewery based in Iwate Prefecture, one of the most famous hot spring areas in Japan. Akatsuki uses the region’s natural assets to produce fantastic beer using geothermal power for 99 percent of its energy needs. The company aims to make as little environmental impact as possible, recycling the used malt generated as a waste byproduct of the brewing process into livestock food and agricultural fertilizer for local farms. The Dragon Eye series, four types of organic beers produced in the stunning setting of Hachimantai, is designed to reflect the wonderful people and natural beauty of the area. The geothermal power-evoking Dragon Eye “Magma’’ is an organic IPL brewed with local mineral water to produce a satisfying drop that mixes a sharply bitter flavor with the refreshing fragrance of the hops.
Akatsuki Brewery Japan Hachimantai Factory,
1-474-6 Matsuoyoriki, Hachimantai-shi, Iwate prefecture. +81 03-5452-1337.