Energy management issues in Australia and Japan

Various energy management issues exist in Australia and Japan. In Japan, such issues are principally associated with scarcity of mineral resources leading to dependence on other countries for supply (Toichi 2002).  Conversely, Australia’s challenges mainly result from policies that have prioritized coal mining thus leading to high GHG emissions.

Japan’s Energy-Management Issues

Japan’s energy management issues are orchestrated mainly by scarcity of mineral resources in the country.  Out of such scarcity, the county is a net consumer of energy, relying heavily on other countries, especially in the Middle East region, for supply of important resources such as oil.  By being dependent on such energy sources, the country faces energy-security challenges that arise with international crises that affect transportation of oil and coal resources and the frequent fluctuations of prices in the global market (Toichi 2002; Aso 2007).

Additionally, by relying heavily on fossil fuels as major sources of energy, Japan’s clamour to achieve energy efficiency with minimal environmental impacts is adversely affected (Aso 2007). These aspects have necessitated the evaluation of cheaper alternatives that are more environmentally friendly. Following such necessity, Japan has in recently sourced energy from nuclear p;ants. However, coal and oil still remain core energy source (Toichi 2002), with recent earthquakes aggravating security risks posed by nuclear energy generation activities.

Australia’s Energy Management Issues

Australia’s energy management issues are mainly driven by the need for more environmentally friendly sources of energy. Australia has traditionally been dependent on fossil fuels as source of energy, with such energy sources being estimated to contribute as much as 94 per cent of the country’s consumption by the turn of the millennium (Jessup & Mercer 2001, p.8). The main consumer of such fuels is the electricity-generation sector, with transport, and manufacturing also providing significant consumer base (Jessup & Mercer 2001). Out of concentration on fossil fuels, Australia’s dominance in the supply of other sources such as Uranium has dropped, with other countries filling up the supplies needed to meet increased demand (WNA 2011). With increasing demand for alternative energy sources, the country’s energy security is also affected by the demand (Aso 2007). This implies that diversification of energy-related exports would prepare the country future decreases in the demand for fossil fuels, due to increasing concerns over their environmental impacts.

Comparison of the Two Countries’ Energy Management Challenges

Japan and Australia’s energy management issues highlight the increasing management challenges facing the energy industry.  The reliance on fossil fuels have for instance affected the energy security levels adversely, with the concentration of such resources in specific regions catalysing international crises out of resultant competition thus increasing the cost of such  supplies. Increasing clamour for environmentally friendlier alternatives, on the other hand, have challenged supplier countries to diversify their energy-related exports. Such management challenges have favoured the increased replacement of fossil fuels with nuclear energy.

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