Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japanese society has been reviewing its approach to civic life and business activities in view of reflections on its energy policy dependent on nuclear power generation and power shortage issues. Moreover, the issue of finding a solution to energy problems has become pressing, combined with the ongoing issue of how to control CO2 emissions.
Under these circumstances, social attention to renewable energy has been increasing, and the creation of a model that uses renewable energy has become an important theme in society. Since the introduction of the feed-in tariff system, it has been required to create a new business model that contributes to the spread of renewable energy. Accordingly, there are high expectations from local communities for this new type of project.
At Ryukoku University, the Research Centre for the Local Public Human Resources and Policy Development (commonly known as LORC; Director: Katsutaka Shiraishi, Professor at the Faculty of Policy Science) has conducted research on the regional implementation of renewable energy as one of the research units. As a result of this research, it has devised a model for a regional contribution mega solar power plant business that is conducted in collaboration with regional financial institutions.
Based on the devised model, Japan’s first project to install a regional contribution mega solar power plant “Ryukoku Solar Park” has been launched, and we have participated in the project through socially responsible investment (SRI).
Since the start of the feed-in tariff system for renewable energy, the momentum for the construction of mega solar power plants has increased. The purpose of participating in this project is based on the idea that we should produce the energy we consume from renewable energy sources as much as possible.
Specifically, Plus Social Co., Ltd. and PS Sumoto K.K. (hereinafter referred to as “PS”), which are the operating companies, install a mega solar power plant on land owned by a local government in collaboration with financial institutions based on the funds invested by the University through socially responsible investment (SRI). In each power plant, power sales business is conducted using the feed-in tariff system.
The profit obtained after subtracting the necessary expenses from the income from selling electricity is provided as a support fund for regional contribution activities and civic activities in the areas where solar panels are installed and in Kyoto. It is also donated to the University as a fund for social contribution activities and is used to promote cooperation between the University and society.