Y. Ogawa and K. Okano


Socio-Economic Research for Innovative Energy Technologies

Date of publication:

Oct. 2006

Key words:

socio-economics, innovative energy technology, questionnaire, fusion energy


In the 21st century global environment and energy issues become very important, and this is characterized by the long-term (in the scale of a few tens years) and world-wide issue. In addition, future prospect of these issues might be quite uncertain, and scientific prediction could be very difficult. For these issues vigorous researches and various efforts have been carried out from various aspects; e.g., world-wide discussion such as COP3 in Kyoto, promotion of the energy-saving technology and so on.Development of environment-friendly energy has been promoted, and new innovative technologies are explored. Nuclear fusion is, of course, a promising candidate. While, there might be some criticism for nuclear fusion from the socio-economic aspect; e.g., it would take long time and huge cost for the fusion reactor development. In addition, other innovative energy technologies might have their own criticism, as well. Therefore, socio-economic research might be indispensable for future energy resources.At first we have selected six items as for the characteristics, which might be important for future energy resources; i.e., energy resource, environmental load, economics, reliability/stability, flexibility on operation and safety/security. Concerning to innovative energy technologies, we have nominated seven candidates; i.e., advanced coal technology with CO2 recovery system, SOFC top combined cycle, solar power, wind power, space solar power station, advanced fission and fusion.Based on questionnaires for ordinary people and fusion scientists, we have tried to assess the fusion energy development, comparing with other innovative energy technologies.

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