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This book clarifies the challenges and outcomes of the Sunshine Project, a national project in Japan for developing new energy that was launched about 40 years ago at the time of the first oil crisis in the early 1970s and ended, as planned, in the early 2000s. The Sunshine Project was the government’s national project for developing new energy technologies such as solar energy and other natural energy sources—what we call renewable energy today.

The book considers why policies were successful in some areas but did not have the intended effect in other areas. It explains how technology innovation was employed to achieve energy policy goals and to tackle environmental issues. If we can present suggestions for how to structure national projects, it may also be possible to identify ways for industry, government, and academia to come together to find solutions not only to environmental energy problems, but also to other social problems. Herein lies the goal of this book.

Although the development of new energy is the main subject of the book, the author also scrutinizes the governmental decision-making process involved in planning policy, the creative process, and the design of systems of collaboration between industry, government, and academia as well as cases where corporations have developed commercial versions of new energy products.

The main part of the book consists of three case studies interspersed with two reflective chapters. The first case study describes the Sunshine Project from the perspective of project management based on the perspective of government. The second case study is a detailed examination of the routines in all organizations, whether industry, government, or academia, and of the autonomy of the project organization. The third case study increases the degree of detail to focus on the smallest unit of analysis, the intentions and motivations of key individuals participating in the project.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Defining the Problem: Solutions Based on Innovative Answers to Social Problems

Abstract
The shift in Japan’s energy policy following the Great East Japan Earthquake has led to a rising interest in renewable energy. As the answer to the sustainable energy problem, much is expected of the introduction and spread of renewable energy. The aim of this book is to identify tactics that are useful for promoting policies for renewable energy development.
Minoru Shimamoto

Chapter 2. What is the Sunshine Project: Overview of the Project

Abstract
Before launching into the case studies, this chapter will look at budgets and other investments in the Sunshine Project and data on the output of results to shed some light on the real contributions made by the project.
Minoru Shimamoto

Chapter 3. Case Study: Managing Technology Development

Case Study 1: The Sunshine ProjectSunshine Project from the Perspective of Project ManagementProject management
Abstract
In 1973, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) selected solar energy research as the development theme for the Large-Scale Project System. The decision by MITI to adopt this theme was based on the importance of new energy technologies. This decision was the first step in setting up the Sunshine Project.
Minoru Shimamoto

Chapter 4. From the Rational Model to the Natural System Model: Changing Perspectives I

Abstract
The previous chapter traced the history of the Sunshine Project from its creation to completion through a study of facts. It is clear that the project did not reach its original goals relating to the introduction and take-up of new energy technologies despite achieving some positive results in terms of research and development. The following summarizes this conclusion.
Minoru Shimamoto

Chapter 5. The Legitimacy of System Survival

Case Study 2: The Sunshine Project as an Activity Trap Mechanism
Abstract
Solar energy research was submitted to the Large-Scale Project System in 1973, but in terms of the process there were no particular differences compared to earlier years.
Minoru Shimamoto

Chapter 6. From the Natural System Model to the Society Development Model: Changing Perspectives II

Abstract
Case study 2 in the previous chapter shed light on the another side of the Sunshine Project. The factors there included the logic of procedures that worked separately from the logic of technical development. The work of allocating a budget, building an organization, choosing technologies, etc. was performed as part of public policy according to the law by following fair procedures. However, if the procedural adequacy of the work is sometimes given a higher value and priority than the new energy development itself, it is a somewhat abnormal situation. Despite this, it was a viable activity in terms of the continued existence of the project and organizations that carried out the project. There was the legitimacy of system survival that continued to be maintained, exceeding the levels of individuals’ concerns.
Minoru Shimamoto

Chapter 7. The Politics of Creating New Significance

Case Study 3: The Sunshine Project as a World of Personal Significance
Abstract
In spring 1973, in a room at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) , Deputy-Director General of Development Nebashi Masato and research and development official Suzuki Ken stood in front of their boss, Councilor/Deputy Director-General of Technology Kinoshita Tōru, and reported to him that many of the Large-Scale Project proposals for that year were energy related.
Minoru Shimamoto

Chapter 8. Organizational Analysis from Multiple Perspectives: Conclusions

Abstract
In Case Study 3, which was examined in the previous chapter, we directed our attention to the realm of meanings for people involved in the Sunshine Project through testimonies and accounts provided by the individuals concerned. Starting from the perspective of the individual participants, the Sunshine Project can be seen as a macrocosm of activities that bureaucrats, researchers and businesspeople affiliated with academia, the government, and industry undertook to fulfill their respective desires. Those individuals sought to develop new energy technologies, introduce them, and popularize them in fields such as public policy, corporate management, and research and development, utilizing their own expertise. Participants in the project tried to persuade others by creating new meanings. Such attempts, as often observed in the case studied in the previous chapter, were particularly memorable in those processes.
Minoru Shimamoto

Chapter 9. Developments After the Project

Abstract
Japan has made concerted public and private sector efforts to develop the solar power generation industry for many years. In fact, companies in Japan had continued making efforts to develop and commercialize solar power generation as an industry for a long time since the oil crisis in the 1970s, supported by a national project called the Sunshine Project. Under these conditions, the sunlight conversion efficiency of solar cells improved and a shift toward lower cell and module prices progressed. Japan rose to the top of the world in terms of the volumes of solar cells produced and introduced at theå end of the 1990s. Japan went on to lead the world in terms of the cumulative volume of solar power generation introduced in 1997.
Minoru Shimamoto

Backmatter

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