In association with the event held on October 25, staff members from our Tokyo Head Office and Sakata Office held a career academy event online. The event was attended by 25 people in total, including eleven high-school and junior high-school students supported by the NPO Kidsdoor from Tokyo and Sendai and nine employees from our group companies.
The program consisted of an introduction to the JRE Group, a virtual site tour of the JRE Sakata Wind Farm, and social interaction sessions attended by separate groups with the results being shared among all of the participants. We started by describing the renewable energy power generation business and the JRE Group’s other activities by using videos and slides. Next, we presented the latest video of the inside of a wind turbine at 60 m above ground to explain the mechanism of wind power generation and the maintenance work involved. After that, the students were divided into small groups and the employees spoke about the nature of their work and their thoughts on their work in response to questions from the students.
In describing their impressions of the event, the students made comments such as the following: “I had only ever seen wind turbines from the outside, but I was able to see them in detail today. I think we really need them in our lives. You explained how fun the work is. I think it is great that you are proud of your work. I also want to find a job that I can be proud of in the future” and “I really enjoyed every bit of the new things that you showed us. I don’t usually see wind turbines because I live in Tokyo. I had a lot of fun because they were new to me. The staff members were very kind and good at teaching. The lecture was easy to understand. I am very interested in wind turbines!”
The staff members also seem to have benefited from the event. They said things like, “I found my work fun again” and “I found the event very informative.”
The JRE Group will continue supporting education and promoting a deeper understanding of renewable energy.
The managing executive officer of JRE, Kiyoshi Doi, gave an online presentation for a session entitled “The Opportunities and Challenges of Energy Transition” during the International Climate Finance Forum hosted by the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Doi addressed the current situation and challenges with regard to adoption of renewable energy in Japan, and described JRE’s activities.
Doi described a diverse range of projects JRE is actually implementing, using images to illustrate his presentation. He focused particularly on the need to secure the understanding and cooperation of local communities as the single most important element in enabling a business operator to successfully develop new power plants over the long term. His emphasis on communication with local communities appeared to make an impression on other forum participants, as the topic came up repeatedly in the subsequent discussion.
Overall, the forum proved to be a great success, with around 150 industry representatives present at the venue itself, supplemented by online participants from all over the world.
The president of JRE, Kazuhiro Takeuchi, appeared in the interview section of the Nikkei Morning plus FT television program.
Takeuchi responded to the newscasters’ questions on the topic of Japan’s potential to become a world power in terms of renewable energy. He explained that, to achieve targets such as the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it will be essential to achieve large-scale installation of renewable energy power plants, which take several years to develop and construct. He described the challenges hindering wider installation (i.e., transmission grid capacity, regulations on procurement of sites, and high initial costs for development and construction), and pointed out that these challenges could be resolved if the public and private sectors worked together. In addition, he outlined a vision for the future of energy and societal sustainability in which solar and wind-based power generation—which require no expenditure for fuel—become the cheapest sources of energy in the years to come. Takeuchi also declared that JRE will engage broadly with all forms of renewable energy, including solar, onshore wind power, biomass, and offshore wind power as it continues to play its part in making society sustainable.
Following the skateboarding event, NPO Kidsdoor board chair, Yumiko Watanabe, and the managing executive officer of JRE, Kiyoshi Doi, talked together.
Their discussion addressed the topic of what should be done to ensure sustainability in the near future, when today’s children will be adults. They talked about the immediate need to take environmental action now that we are keenly aware of extreme weather events, and about the importance of education for Japan, which has one of the highest rates of poverty among developed nations. Other topics included JRE’s desire to provide support for education in conjunction with its efforts to increase the supply of renewable energy, and the legacy to be bequeathed to future generations (renewable energy and the environment).
During 2020, JRE sought to prevent the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) from spreading further by organizing and participating in fewer local events than usual. However, we did hold an educational support event in Tokyo, putting rigorous measures in place to prevent infection. The event provided an opportunity to experience skateboarding for 19 children from preschoolers through high school students who are supported by the NPO Kidsdoor. We invited athletes who are world-class Olympic-hopefuls, and they joined forces with the coaches at the venue, a skatepark run by Murasaki Sports, to give the children skateboarding lessons.
These children usually take part in Kidsdoor’s study classes, but with many events and activities at their schools having been cancelled during 2020, they really enjoyed their first sports event in a long time. After the lessons, the world-class athletes and coaches put on a performance, which raised the excitement level even further.
The children’s reactions to the event included comments such as, “I did a trick I didn’t think I could do,” “It was great fun,” “I want to do it again,” and “I was blown away when I saw one of the pros spinning in mid-air!”
JRE and Kidsdoor are planning online tours of power plants, and online events to explain the jobs performed by JRE’s employees, as we collaborate to establish a society where all children can have hopes and dreams. JRE intends to continue its activities, including supporting education and sport for the next generation, to help create a society that is both happy and sustainable.