Aiming to Promote Renewable Energy
Promoting and expanding the use of renewable energy
The SoftBank Group
The devastation caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the incident at Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has stimulated interest in energy demand and power-saving programs in Japan and has had a profound effect on the lives of people, not only in East Japan, but throughout the entire country. The SoftBank Group recognizes the energy issue as a challenge that concerns the whole of Japan and believes that the promotion and expansion of safe and renewable energy is one of the solutions.
In July 2011, the SoftBank Group, together with local governments, established the Renewable Energy Governors' Alliance at the prefecture level and the Renewable Energy Governors' Alliance for Designated Cities at the urban level and began serving as secretariat for these two alliances. Through the alliances, together with 36 prefectures throughout Japan and the local governments of 18 cities, the SoftBank Group shares policy recommendations and information to promote the spread of renewable energy.
Providing energy from renewable sources
SoftBank Corp., SB Power Corp.
In February 2017, SoftBank renewed the FIT Denki Plan (renewable energy) of its SoftBank Denki service. The renewed plan, called Shizen Denki, is oriented to those who wish to utilize renewable energy. With SB Power procuring power as the retailer, the plan aims to use more than the 50% or above ratio used in the FIT Denki Plan (renewable energy*).
In addition, SB Power contributes 50 yen per month for each contract in use to support environmental preservation activities. This way customers using Shizen Denki can contribute to the realization of a low-carbon society without bearing additional costs.
- *Some of the costs incurred by SB Power in procuring this electricity are covered by surcharges collected from all electricity users. The CO2 emissions derived from this electricity are treated as being equivalent to the nationwide average for electricity, including thermal power.
Construction of mega solar power plants and wind farms throughout Japan
SB Energy Corp.
SB Energy aims to promote and drive the adoption of renewable energy, such as large-scale solar power generation (mega solar) and wind power generation, by using land owned by public bodies and private owners throughout Japan to build and operate renewable energy power plants.
As of September 30, 2016, SB Energy operates mega solar power plants in 22 locations across Japan (25 power plants), starting with the mega solar power plants in Kyoto and Shinto-mura, Gunma Prefecture, which began operations on July 1, 2012 and is taking steps to begin operations at new power plants.
Additionally, SB Energy installed 29 wind turbines at its first wind farm, Wind Farm Hamada, which became operational in June 2016.
On December 1, 2015, SB Energy and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. began operations of the SoftBank Tomatoh Abira Solar Park, one of Japan's largest solar power facilities. The SoftBank Tomatoh Abira Solar Park occupies a site of approximately 1.66 million m2 (approx. 166 ha) in Toasa, Abira, Yufutsu District, Hokkaido Prefecture and has a power output of approximately 111,000 kW (approx. 111MW). This mega solar facility is expected to generate around 108.014 million kWh annually, which is equivalent to the power consumed by roughly 30,000 average households in one year.
SB Energy Corp. will continue to promote the construction and operation of renewable energy power stations that generate power from natural energy sources including mega solar, wind, biomass, hydro, and geothermal energy, and work to further promote and expand the use of renewable energy.
Construction progress and future plans (as of September 2016)
Operating Mega Solar Plants
Planned Construction Sites
|Construction site||Name||Output||Scheduled to start operation|
|Tohoku||Aomori||Aomori||SoftBank Aomori Suwanosawa Solar Park||1.7MW||December 2016|
|Kanto||Ibaraki||Kamisu||Large-scale offshore wind farm at Kashima Port||approx.
|Scheduled for construction|
|Itako||SoftBank Itako Solar Park||1.7MW||January 2017|
|Tochigi||Nasushiobara||SoftBank Nasushiobora Solar Park||13.9MW||December 2016|
|Koshinetsu||Nagano||Saku||SoftBank NaganoSaku Solar Park||1.2MW||August 2017|
|Tokai||Shizuoka||Hamamatsu||SoftBank Hamamatsu Chukai Solar Park||43.4MW||fiscal 2016|
|Chugoku||Hiroshima||Sera||Softbank Hiroshima Sera Town Solar Park||5.8MW||fiscal 2016|
|Kyushu||Kagoshima||Aira||SoftBank Kagoshima Yusui Solar Park||32.3MW||fiscal 2017|
Weed Removal Trials with Sheep and Goats
At SoftBank Tottori Yonago Solar Park, we carried out a trial using sheep and goats to remove weeds as part of our activities that show consideration for the environment. The trial took place in autumn of 2014, and proved effective in removing weeds and attracting visitors. There was also a therapeutic effect for local residents and people working at the site. In 2015, we started a second trial from April, when the weeds began to grow. Throughout the growing period, we will compare against mechanical weed removal in terms of efficacy, quality and safety of the weed removal on target areas, as well as the therapeutic effect and other factors.
Future × Energy Project: an experience-based program designed to teach elementary-school children about the environment
SB Energy Corp., EDUAS Corp.
In the future, as we promote the wider use of renewable energy, it will be important to continually raise the level of awareness of energy issues among all Japanese people. As one way to achieve this, SB Energy, together with EDUAS, Kyoiku K.K. and Tankyusha K.K., are running the “Future × Energy Project”, an experience-based program for elementary-school children. The objective of the program is to give children the opportunity to think about the environment in a proactive and creative manner.
In the program, children use iPads and other devices. Through a series of workbooks, video content, and other educational materials, as well as group projects, they learn and experience the existence of energy in the world around them, how to use energy in everyday life, and how to use sources of energy found in the natural world. The program has received accolades for how it provides learning that brings out the children's motivation and creativity. In February 2013, the program won the Incentive Award in the Companies Collaborating with Local Communities Education Category at the 3rd Annual Career Education Awards sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.