Energy Policy Of Iceland And Japan

1286 words - 5 pages

Imagine people’s life without electricity, gases, and oils. Maybe nobody can imagine they are having such life. However, it is possible to happen in the future, if people use energy resources continuously at the same pace of the contemporary use and run out them. As the world’s nations experience modernization and industrialization, their economic grows dramatically, and at the same time, the amount of fossil fuel use has significantly increased. That have caused many environmental problems, and environmental issues become a controversial issue that most countries in the world concern. Now, the world nations, especially developed nations, are obligated to mitigate environmental change and promote environmentally friendly energy use. Both Japan and Iceland share similarities in their geographical configuration, and their energy policy have been recognized as advanced ecological and efficient policies among developed countries, yet these two countries have made contrary history of energy usage that make a significant difference between the successful and efficient Icelandic energy policy and the problematic and inefficient Japanese energy policy; the difference in the two energy policies reflect in their contemporary situation of energy usage and their contribution to the mitigation of environmental destruction.
Although both Iceland and Japan’s energy policies have been recognized as ecological and environmentally friendly policies, they have had a different history of energy usage, especially in the 20th century. Iceland took an action ahead of the world to change the country’s energy situation in order to achieve energy efficiency and ecological energy use. According to American Scandinavian Foundation, in the 20th century, Iceland implemented the two substantial energy reformations; in the 1940s, Iceland started to utilize geothermal resource for producing electricity and providing heating system, and in the 1990s, hydropower was introduced to produce hydrogen automobiles and to explore the prospect of hydropower to be the fundamental energy resource in the future Icelandic society (Hinrichsen, 2008). On the contrary, in the late 20th century, Japan experienced great economic growth, and together with the growth, the consumption of fossil fuels, oil, coal, and gases, increased drastically. At that time, although there are environmental issues related to fossil fuels, Japan hid the negative aspects of fossil fuels behind the gorgeousness and pomposity of economic growth, and continued to rely on fossil fuels. International Energy Agency reported that although Japan decreased the amount of oil for electric generation from 30% in 1990 to 10% in 2006 because the price of oil rose drastically due to the oil shock in the 1970s, Japan increased the amount of coal for electric generation from 14% in 1990 to 28% in 2006. During 1990 to 2006, natural gas and nuclear power also increased their share in generating electricity, while renewable resources,...

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