Our modern affluent lifestyle is supported by massive energy consumption, for approximately half of which we are dependent on electricity from thermal and nuclear power generation. Furthermore, electric vehicles are expected to become increasingly common in the transport sector and so electricity will inevitably account for an increasing proportion of the total energy we consume. But fossil fuels, the foundation of thermal power generation, are not only a finite resource that is about to run out, they also cause environmental problems such as air pollution and climate change. Meanwhile, nuclear power generation, a clean technology at first glance, is constantly beleaguered by safety issues and cannot therefore be the principal energy production technologies that will support our next-generation society. Especially in our resource-limited nation, the most pressing challenge we face is the promotion of green innovation that will enable us to build a safe and sustainable energy recycling-oriented society that guarantees a stable supply of energy.
That is why at RSET we are promoting research oriented at zero emission energy, based on renewable energies such as wind power and solar power, which exist in every country or region and will never run out, unused biomass, waste matter and waste energy, aimed at efficient energy conversion, creation, and recycling via so-called “local production for local consumption” by which energy is consumed in the same region where it is produced. RSET is an advanced research group made up of academics engaged in the development of energy production technologies within the science and technology research area of Kanazawa University, and aims to be a role model for the development of next-generation sustainable energy production technologies by achieving “local production for local consumption” style energy production in the Hokuriku region. However, a complete shift to power generation that is free from carbon dioxide emissions will take a very long time, so we also need to look at building low-energy carbon cycle systems. At the same time, we will promote the reduction of process energy in energy production and the development of technologies for creating low environmental impact resources used in plasma, and will strive to construct an ecosystem that is integrated from energy production to energy use.
In this way, RSET aims to contribute widely at regional, national and international levels as a research center at the heart of green innovation for turning our mass consumption society with its accumulating problems such as resources, environment and energy into a recycling-oriented society based on safe, sustainable energy production technologies.