30% of big Japan companies say green energy to be nuclear alternativeKyodo News International, Inc.
TOKYO, Aug. 19 -- (Kyodo) _ Over 30 percent of 109 major Japanese companies polled by Kyodo News believe that renewable energy will provide a viable alternative to nuclear power, the results showed Saturday.
Only three companies said there will be no replacement of nuclear power, indicating there is a growing view in business circles that Japan will be able to minimize its reliance on nuclear energy in the future.
Asked what will replace nuclear power, 35 companies cited renewable energy such as solar and wind power, while 10 firms said thermal power.
On the three options proposed by the government for nuclear power's contribution to Japan's total power generation in 2030, 13 companies said 15 percent is appropriate, 11 said 20-25 percent while only one company answered zero percent.
Four companies said nuclear power should account for over 25 percent.
Kansai Electric Power Co. answered, "Japan needs at least 20 to 25 percent from nuclear power assuming safety is assured."
"Any one of those three options is expected to affect people's lives and economic growth," said the utility, which restarted two reactors at its Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture in July, the first reactivations since all of Japan's commercial reactors went offline in the wake of the Fukushima disaster last year.
The survey, conducted between late July and early August, covered corporate leaders, including those of Sony Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Nippon Steel Corp. and Rakuten Inc.
Asked about the impact of the planned consumption tax hike on their earnings, 43 percent said they expect adverse effects, 29 companies anticipate "a slightly negative impact" and 18 expect "a negative impact."
Thirty-five firms, or 32 percent, said there will be no impact on their earnings, while only four companies anticipated a slightly positive impact.
Japan's parliament passed legislation last week that will raise the current 5 percent sales tax rate to 8 percent in April 2014 and 10 percent in October 2015 to cope with the nation's swelling social security costs.
As for the current state of the Japanese economy, 50 companies said it is growing moderately, compared with two that said it is contracting. Fifty-seven companies thought the economy is just moving sideways.