GEPR HOME >This Week's Update — Bill Gates points out US energy policy problems (30th January, 2012)

This Week's Update — Bill Gates points out US energy policy problems (30th January, 2012)

Editorial Staffs

This week's column

1)Mr. Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft, acts towards solving world's social issues and is concerned with energy problems.

Mr. Gates has kindly permitted GEPR to introduce his column “The Energy Research Imperative" from his site "The Gatesnote", which was originally published in the Science magazine. He pointed out the cost for new energy technologies are “too large for venture capital and traditional energy companies", because it needs long time frame. He hopes to be able to change the form of American society which uses 1 billion dollars per day for foreign oil by an effective government support.

Japan becomes trade deficit in 2011 after 31 years due to stopping the nuclear power plant and increasing imports of fossil fuels, such as natural gas. Mr. Gates's opinion would be helpful for Japanese people to reduce the use of fossil fuels by supporting government's research on clean energy research.

2) People pay attention to the smart grid, among the new technologies related to energy. Mr. Norio Murakami, former VP, Google Inc. and President, Google Japan Inc. contributed an article “The Smart Grid Blazes a Trail for Renewed ‘Smart Japan' ". Mr. Murakami continues to advocate the promotion of the smart grid.

Mr. Murakami intelligibly explains social changes by the smart grid. He points out that the smart grid increases exchanges of information, deepens communication between people and machine, or machines with each other, which is called M2M2H: Machine to Machine to Human. Moreover, he expects that the smart grid would be effective measure for Japan facing power shortage due to the suspension of the nuclear power plant operation.

This Week's Report

The Science Council of Japan under Chairman Ichiro Kanazawa (at that time) published a discourse "For the Correct Understanding of Radiation Protection" (Japanese Only) in June 2011. The Science Council of Japan is an organization representing Japan's scientists, by coordinating the experts of all scientific and technological fields. It has been deliberating and issuing scientific reports and recommendations for the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The discourse expresses a view that protection standards set by the ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) is appropriate.

"When responding to emergencies situation such as Fukushima nuclear plant accident, optimized protection standard should be set so that the sum total of the risk becomes lowest; taking into account both damages which can be protected by setting a standard, and other inflicting losses caused by the set standard (such as detriment from large scale evacuation, physical and mental health damages caused in its process and so on)."

Japanese government refers to this discourse when making policies for radiation protection.

This Week's News

1)Re-Evaluating Germany's Blind Faith in the Sun — Solar Subsidy Sinkhole
(18th Jan, 2012)
German news magazine SPIEGEL reports that the costs of subsidizing solar electricity have exceeded the 100-billion-euro mark in Germany, and poor results could jeopardize the country's transition to renewable energy.

2)Siemens puts cost of nuclear exit at 1.7 trillion euros
(17th Jan, 2012)
Reuter reports Germany's exit from nuclear power could cost the country as much as 1.7 trillion euros ($2.15 trillion) by 2030, or two thirds of the country's GDP in 2011, according to Siemens

3)Q&A: Bill Gates on the World's Energy Crisis
(20th June, 2011)
Web media WIRED reported Mr. Bill Gates's idea on future of energy. About Fukushima nuclear accident he says; “there are many reasons it should have been avoided". The nuclear power plants in Fukushima which failed and caused the accidents were constructed in1960s and the safety measures were not enough. He also pointed out that the various problems concerned with energy, such as climate changes, cannot be solved only with the renewable energy.


Is Fukushima Dangerous? -- Distorted images of Japan - Morley Robertson × Nobuo Ikeda

What's happen? What was the cause in Fukushima? Morley Robertson, writer and DJ, talk about distorted images of Japan after Fukushima nuclear plant accident with Nobuo Ikeda.

21st Century Energy Challenges

At the ARPA-E 2012 summit, Bill Gates and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu discussed the largest energy challenges of the 21st century in the U.S. and around the world.

A Web-TV Program "Is radiation really so harmful? Considering risks of nuclear power generation" (Japanese only)

Agora Institute, who operates GEPR, broadcasted a Web-TV program "Is radiation really so harmful? Considering risks of nuclear power generation" on internet video streaming channel "Niconico Live " on January 19th (in Japanese only) . Nobuo Ikeda, President of Agora Incorporated, and three experts on radiation, risk analysis, and energy policy discussed about the situations after Fukushima nuclear accident. Their opinions were consistent that potentiality of health damage caused by the Fukushima accident is very small. GEPR will provide a summary about this program soon.


Agora Inc., who operates GEPR, releases a podcast program which was originally aired on Jan. 19th, 2012on internet video streaming channel "Nico-nico Live"; "Is radiation really so harmful? Considering risks of nuclear power generation" (Japanese only) The panel: Nobuo Ikeda, Akihiro Sawa, Jun Takada, and Hiroyuki Matsuda