Takeshi Yao

Global Center of Excellence (GCOE) Programs
Energy Science in the Age of Global Warming — Toward a CO2 Zero-emissions Energy System —

Program Leader:
Prof. Takeshi YAO

 Securing energy and conservation of the environment are the most important issues for the sustainable development of human beings. Until now, people have relied heavily on fossil fuels for their energy requirements and have released large amounts of CO2. Greenhouse gases such as CO2 have been regarded as the main factor in climate change in recent years, as stated in the IPCC report in 2007. The energy problem cannot be simply labeled as a technological one, as it is also deeply involved with social and economic elements.

 The Graduate School of Energy Science, the Institute of Advanced Energy, Department of Nuclear Engineering, and the Research Reactor Institute have jointly proposed a Global COE program to establish an international education and research platform to foster educators, researchers, and policy makers who can develop technologies and propose policies for establishing a scenario toward a CO2 zero-emissions society no longer dependent on fossil fuels, by the year 2100. At the Global COE, students will acquire the faculty to survey the whole “energy system” through participation in scenario planning and interaction with researchers from other fields, and apply it to their own research. This approach is expected to become a major feature of human resources cultivation.

 In the course of implementing the Global COE, we placed the GCOE Unit for Energy Science Education at the center, and we proceed from the Scenario Planning Group, the Advanced Research Cluster to the Evaluation, forming mutual associations as we progress.

 The Scenario Planning Group sets out scenarios for the transition from current energy systems to a CO2 zero-emissions energy system, establishes new methods of forecasting possible technology for CO2 reduction, and proposes new social values for a CO2 zero-emissions society, by integrating the social sciences, human sciences and natural sciences to realize sustainable energy systems.

 The Advanced Research Cluster promotes the socio-economic study of energy, study of new technologies for solar energy and biomass energy, and research for advanced nuclear energy by following the road map established by the Scenario Planning Group.

 Evaluation is conducted by exchanging ideas among advisors inside and outside of the university and from abroad, to gather feedback on the scenario, education, and research.

 For education, which is the central activity of the Global COE, we establish the GCOE Unit for Energy Science Education and select 30 students annually from the doctoral course, and foster these human resources. Students of the Unit participate in the Scenario Planning Group and the Advanced Research Cluster. The students also attend international internships and research workshops outside Japan. We will strive to foster young researchers who will not only be able to employ their skills and knowledge with a wide international perspective as well as expertise in their field of study in order to respond to the needs of the society in terms of the variety of energy and environmental problems, but who will also lead people to a 21st century full of vitality and creativity, working towards harmony between the environment and mankind