Rethinking sustainable bioenergy development in Japan: decentralised system supported by local forestry biomass

Chun Sheng Goh, Takanobu Aikawa, Amanda Ahl, Kanae Ito, Chihiro Kayo, Yasunori Kikuchi, Yasuo Takahashi, Takaaki Furubayashi, Toshihiko Nakata, Yuichiro Kanematsu, Osamu Saito, Yoshiki Yamagata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Bioenergy has been promoted in Japan with ambitious targets. However, the incentive schemes excluded renewable heat and overlooked synergies with local forest management, leading to the development of large-scale biomass plants that heavily rely on overseas biomass supplies. This case report discussed an alternative scenario of decentralised bioenergy systems supported with local biomass through five important questions. The currently available knowledge indicates that such a scenario is feasible with integrative forest management that considers both ecosystem services and multiple uses of wood. In addition to various environmental benefits, replacing imported fossil fuels with local biomass can also enhance energy security. Realising this scenario requires careful consideration of local context, empowerment of local governments and encouragement of both public and private initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1461-1471
Number of pages11
JournalSustainability Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioenergy
  • Biomass
  • Decentralised system
  • Forest
  • Japan
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Health(social science)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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