Image credit: CNN
With Japan's internet business giants pursuing renewable energy, its "sunrise plan" pushing for solar on all new buildings, and Tokyo's residents cutting energy use 15%, it's fair to say that the Fukushima disaster may turn out to be a true teaching moment.
Here's a short report from CNN about Japan's new found enthusiasm for solar, and how a crisis may indeed be an opportunity to build something better.
Visiting Solar Frontier's thin-film manufacturing plant in western Japan—which opened earlier this year and which, according to Renewable Energy World, is the largest thin-film manufacturing plant in the world—we hear that a push for cleaner, nuclear-free energy and a continued drop in solar manufacturing costs and environmental impacts is driving increased demand in Japan.
Given the precarious state of the Japanese economy, it would be wrong to suggest that a clean energy revolution is a foregone conclusion in Japan. But as I have argued before, the stories we tell ourselves matter. If Japan can seize the impetus of the recent tragedies, and use it to create a new narrative, and a new collective identity, around building a better, safer and more innovative future, it could be a truly powerful meme with lasting positive consequences for the world.