Management Talks Sachio Semmoto, Executive Chairman and Representative Director Yosuke Kiminami, Founding CEO

  • A worldwide shift to renewable energy

    Kiminami:We appointed you as our Executive Chairman and Representative Director in 2015. Let me ask you again what you think about the renewable energy market.

    Semmoto:I feel that there is without doubt a worldwide trend towards renewable energy. I visited the United States to talk with people in leading business ventures in Silicon Valley. I have found that they have great interest in renewable energy. Google and other global firms are hugely interested in the renewable energy business and I think that the market will continue to expand.

    Kiminami:I share the same feeling. In Europe, the world’s largest offshore wind power generator, DONG Energy, became a listed company. Earlier, I visited offshore wind farms and operators in Europe together with you. That underscored to me the very real expansion in renewable energy. In fact, the global renewable energy market has grown by a factor of 2.5 over the past five years.

    Semmoto:Japan can’t be an exception to this phenomenon.

    Kiminami:The Kyoto Protocol came into effect in 1997. At the time, I was still a student. It was one of the reasons that I am now engaged in this business, and it triggered the global trend towards renewable energy. Since the great earthquake that hit the Tohoku region, Japan has followed this trend and the market has gained momentum. To date, solar photovoltaic power generation has driven the market growth. Going forward, the markets for biomass, onshore wind, offshore wind and geothermal power generation will thrive. On the other hand, it is true that Japan lags other countries in introducing renewable energy. To put it another way, Japan is still in the phase of growth. It is a major opportunity.

  • RENOVA’s own style of renewable energy operations

    Kiminami:RENOVA has built renewable energy power plants at different locations in Japan, and I realize that urban areas are major power consumers while renewable energy sources lie in areas with a rich natural environment. We consume part of the abundant natural energy in these areas to operate the power generation business, and we have constructed mutually beneficial relationships by serving and benefiting local communities, not only in the phases of construction and operation of power plants but in many other situations.

    Semmoto:This is important. Running a business using sustainable resources to construct sustainable regions and to realize a sustainable society is very much what RENOVA is about.

    Kiminami:Suigo-Itako Solar Co., Ltd. has launched the Taiyo-no-Megumi Fund to conduct activities that contributes to education on the local environment. It also installed solar panels and storage batteries in the neighboring Roadside Station to establish a disaster control center. It has thus worked to create harmony between the power plant and the local community. The biomass power generation project in Akita Prefecture has helped revitalize the local forestry industry. We formed a tie-up with the locally based United Corporation to participate in a project solely involving Akita-based entities. That led to the cooperation of many local foresters and then to the revitalization of the local forestry industry.

    Semmoto:In a situation where we offer our knowledge and network generously while the local community has a stance of making the most of them, there will be great synergy. In the local community, the mayor or the governor needs to take the lead in supporting local business. The involvement of local financial institutions is also vital.

    Kiminami:I look forward to RENOVA creating more of these examples in society.

  • RENOVA’s vision for the company

    Kiminami:As I mentioned earlier, our business is based on the concept of making the global environment better. At the same time, we must not forget to contribute to local communities. We will make proposals on solutions to different problems, in which we work together with local communities to overcome them. No one is more aware than I am that we will be unable to survive unless we develop deep ties with local communities and win their acceptance. We hope that each and every one of our staff will have this awareness and do their duty. Consequently, we hope to demonstrate strong leadership for energy reform not only in Japan, but also in Asia.

  • Becoming a renewable energy leader for Japan and for Asia

    Semmoto:As is mentioned in Our Vision, it is vital that we be a renewable energy leader. Most of the existing renewable energy projects in Japan are run by operators affiliated with major companies. We are an independent company that is ambitiously trying new things. We have our own perspectives that differ from those of large companies, which are to contribute to local communities and to resolve social issues. From these perspectives, we develop renewable energy to generate ripples and to play a part in the creation of a more sound and significant renewable energy market. In doing so, those ripples will lead to a big wave or trend. RENOVA must be like that.

    Kiminami:We will do our best to meet RENOVA’s Commitments to the Earth, Communities, Customers, Shareholders and Employees.

  • Doing something big

    Semmoto:I believe that after we meet these commitments RENOVA’s business expansion will help resolve social problems. I think that RENOVA’s business serves a cause and that if we do something we should do something big.

    Kiminami:Among Japan’s notable entrepreneurs, those with experience in creating something from nothing and developing the businesses they founded into large companies are really very few. I am very excited to be working on a business together with you, one of these rare business leaders.

    Semmoto:With respect to RENOVA’s business, there are examples of great success in the world and the cause is very good. I think it is important that we carry it through with confidence. We should make this business, which has great social significance, a major company of several hundred billion yen to several trillion yen. On the basis of my own experience, I am convinced that this can be done.

    Kiminami: I very much believe in the importance of making major attempts. After all, our business will be meaningless if it fails to create sustainable energy systems and to resolve key social issues. The state of being sustainable also means that it is continuous, and key social issues cannot be resolved without large-scale actions to combat them. We will work to enlarge RENOVA’s networks, not only in Japan but also in Asia and the world.