US and Japan forge clean energy alliance amid global summit

Chiang, Jen-Chieh, Taipei; Vyra Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: JERA

In a landmark bilateral summit, the United States and Japan have solidified a groundbreaking partnership to spearhead the global transition towards clean energy. As reported by Nikkei, Reuters, and Bloomberg Magazine, the high-level meeting, held on April 10, 2024, in Washington, marks a pivotal moment in international efforts to combat climate change and ensure energy security.

The joint declaration issued by both nations underscores their unwavering commitment to bolstering clean energy initiatives and fortifying energy resilience. At the heart of this alliance lies a strategic collaboration to establish a shared supply chain for clean energy, signaling a transformative shift towards sustainable practices.

Leading the charge are top officials from both sides, including John Podesta, Senior Advisor to President Biden for International Climate Policy, and Ken Saito, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry. Their discussions during the ministerial-level meeting paved the way for a comprehensive roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality through coordinated government and private sector efforts.

Underpinning these ambitious goals are substantial financial commitments. The US, in accordance with the Inflation Reduction Act, earmarks a staggering US$369 billion to accelerate the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. This investment includes targeted subsidies to facilitate the adoption of energy-efficient technologies, such as electric vehicles, particularly among low-income communities.

Meanwhile, Japan's ambitious Green Transformation (GX) policy pledges LPY20 trillion (approximately US$132 billion) over the next decade to drive the country towards carbon neutrality. This funding will catalyze advancements in battery technology and incentivize the integration of hydrogen energy across industries.

The collaboration between the US and Japan extends beyond domestic measures to encompass global leadership in clean energy innovation. Both nations have committed to expanding the production of floating offshore wind turbines and streamlining the hydrogen supply chain. Furthermore, they aim to set international standards for cutting-edge technologies, such as Perovskite Solar Cells (PSC).

Crucially, efforts to promote clean energy adoption will adhere to international trade regulations to avoid trade disputes and economic repercussions. The US and Japan are actively working on establishing common subsidy guidelines to ensure a fair and transparent transition towards carbon neutrality.

In the aftermath of bilateral talks, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reaffirmed their mutual dedication to enhancing energy security for Japan and other allies. By accelerating the adoption of renewable energy sources like wind power, both countries aim to mitigate the risks associated with resource scarcity and geopolitical tensions.

Moreover, the joint statement issued by the US and Japan underscores their commitment to nuclear fusion research and development. This groundbreaking collaboration seeks to accelerate the commercialization of fusion energy, with a focus on safety standards and talent exchange initiatives.

Against the backdrop of delayed international projects, such as the ITER fusion experiment, the US and Japan's concerted efforts underscore a shared commitment to driving progress in clean energy innovation on the global stage.