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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 20th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

APEC to pursue low-carbon technologies: Nuke power to be promoted as low-emission energy source;
new plant construction urged.

FUKUI (Kyodo) Energy ministers from Pacific Rim economies agreed Saturday to embark on a project to create low-carbon model cities using energy-efficient technologies and urged the promotion of nuclear power as an environmentally friendly energy source.

The one-day meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in the city of Fukui was hosted by Japan, this year’s APEC chair. At the meeting, which focused on energy security and other matters, participants also concurred that fossil fuels will continue to play a key role in the region, which includes such emerging economies as China, and attached importance to enhancing preparedness for oil supply disruption such as by collaborating with the International Energy Agency over energy response workshops and exercises.

As introducing low-carbon technologies in city planning is essential to responding to increasing energy consumption in urban areas, APEC said in a declaration issued after the meeting that they have launched a Low-Carbon Model Town Project to present “successful models for coordinated usage” of the advanced technologies.

The model cities would likely feature a “smart grid” advanced power transmission network or buildings with facilities for renewable energy generation.

Smart grid, which uses information technology, is an efficient power transmission network that is expected to encourage the use of renewable energy such as solar and wind, because it can give stability to the output of electricity supplied by the fluctuating power sources.

Meanwhile, the declaration stipulated that the deployment of renewable energy, nuclear energy, and power generation involving carbon capture and storage technology should be “promoted,” calling these three “low emission” power sources.

Noting that a growing number of interested economies are using nuclear power to diversify their energy mix and limit carbon emissions, the declaration also referred to the need to assess the emissions reduction potential of nuclear power in APEC.

Toward new nuclear power plant construction, the declaration also said “solid financial frameworks, as well as cooperation among member economies and with relevant multilateral organizations” could be of help.

It is the first time for APEC to clearly stipulate the promotion of building new nuclear power plants, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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