Renewable Japan: Harnessing Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Future

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Katsuhito Manabe, President & Representative Director, Renewable Japan

The energy demand is growing rapidly but on the other hand an conventional energy sources like coal and petroleum are depleting day by day. Today, renewable energy is playing an important role and Katsuhito Manabe, President and Representative Director at Renewable Japan is in the quest to contribute to the realization of a carbon-free society through renewable energy projects.

Mr. Manabe established Renewable Japan in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and decided to contribute to the recovery through expanding renewable energy in Japan. “I had been working in the finance industry for many years. I wondered if I could help revitalize local communities through the promotion of renewable energy, which is considered to be secure, safe, and clean, taking advantage of the knowledge and expertise that I accumulated in the finance industry,” shares Mr. Manabe.

According to him, climate change due to global warming has various effects on our lives and the natural ecosystem and has become a global issue. He believes that expectations for renewables are growing as an important means to solve this issue and using nondepletable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower to generate electricity will allow us to pass this beautiful, loving Earth on to the next generation. Renewable Japan aims to work to promote the spread of renewable energy to protect the future of Earth.

Portfolio of the Company

“When we started, it was not easy for venture businesses to grow in Japan and we faced many difficulties back then. We were able to make it through by building trust in partnerships with local communities and making financial innovation happen,” recalls, Mr. Manabe.

With a vision of delivering sustainable energy and creating a future for people to live life to its fullest, Renewable Japan Co., Ltd. is developing various renewable energy businesses, including developing, operating, and managing solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy, and other renewable energy power stations, and generating electricity with these facilities (asset management and O&M).

Solar Power Generation

Solar power generation is a method of generating electricity that takes advantage of the phenomenon of electricity being generated when light strikes silicon semiconductors and other materials. As we will never run out of sunlight, it is widely accepted all over the world and is the most installed renewable energy in Japan. Renewable Japan is dedicated to the development, power generation, operation, and management of solar power plants.

Wind Power Generation

Wind power generation is a method of generating electricity whereby the force of the wind spins a wind turbine, which produces electricity in a generator connected to the wind turbine. Like solar, it is non depletable and widely adopted around the world. Efforts are underway in Japan to expand its use. Renewable Japan will continue to actively develop wind power to ensure a stable supply of electricity.

Hydro Power Generation

Hydroelectric power makes use of the difference in elevation of rivers to produce electricity by harnessing the potential energy. And this renewable energy source has been widely used in Japan where there are abundant water sources and many swift-flowing rivers. Since its inception, Renewable Japan has been developing a renewable energy business with a focus on solar power.

Mr. Manabe says, “To ensure a stable supply of electricity, as a part of our efforts to diversify the power sources, we acquired Akashiba Hydroelectric Power Plant in Yamagata Prefecture in Feb 2021, and started hydroelectric power generation business.”

The prominent company’s basic business model is to develop and acquire power plants then owns them as an Independent Power Producer (IPP). Renewable Japan owns a total of 337.3 MW (as of the end of June 2022) of power plants in operation. In addition, it has already priced a cumulative total of 13 GW of projects, and this experience has an advantage compared to other companies.

Currently, the company is developing renewable energy power stations, including site selection, business planning, licensing, and construction management and supervision. In the development process, to develop power stations that coexist with local communities, the company places importance on communication with local people in addition to security and safety.

The Strength of Renewable Japan

Renewable Japan’s strength is that it specializes in the renewable energy business, covering the entire process of development, power generation, and management of power plants. The company believes that it will directly contribute to carbon neutrality.

Mr. Manabe affirms, “RJ’s values are Respect, Teamwork, Loyalty + Innovation. Our corporate culture encourages our employees to try new things regardless of age or how many years they are with us.” He adds, “RJ engages in a wide range of renewable energy business and is serving various customers, but our major stakeholder is the community and the partnership with them.”

The company has about 30 offices across the country which enables it to grow business while contributing to the local community through hiring.

“We are now working to increase the number of power plants we own, to achieve a total of 3GW+α (domestic solar power (1GW+α), wind power (1GW) and overseas (1GW)) within 10 years. Additionally, we aim to expand orders to 2GW in our O&M (Operation & Maintenance) business by 2025,” concludes, Mr. Manabe.

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