85.1% of the world’s primary energy is supplied by fossil fuels (petroleum, coal and natural gas) followed by 12.9% supplied by renewable energy and 2.0% by nuclear power (IPCC, 2008). Fossil fuel consumption is increasing annually and this is a major driver of global warming due to the emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. There is concern that climate will change as global warming progresses and that impacts including severe meteorological events will increase.

At the Paris Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in 2015, interest in renewable energy for controlling emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases increased. The United Kingdom and other countries have been active in the marine renewable energy resources including wave and tidal current that have been globally slow in being commercialized, both for controlling global warming and creation of new industries (for example, the role of EMEC in demonstration projects in the United Kingdom).

Rich ocean energy resources are an exception to Japan’s poverty in domestic resources. While the adoption of the FIT (feed-in tariff) system in 2012 after the nuclear accident has resulted in the rapid deployment of solar photovoltaic and terrestrial wind power generation, compared to Europe and North America, Japan has fallen behind. This research group is an industry, academia and government collaboration to promote research and development for ocean energy (wave and tidal current power generation).

Ref: IPCC. 2008. Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation