The Diffusion of Energy Conservation in Japan

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  • Title: The Diffusion of Energy Conservation in Japan: The Case of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises
  • Author(s): Hyunyoung Lee, Yuka Sakamoto, Yasuyo Yoshizawa
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: On Sustainability
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice
  • Keywords: Energy Conservation, Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises, SMEs, Rogers’ Diffusion Theory
  • Volume: 15
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2325-1166 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1182 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2325-1166/CGP/v15i01/1-17
  • Citation: Lee, Hyunyoung, Yuka Sakamoto, and Yasuyo Yoshizawa. 2019. "The Diffusion of Energy Conservation in Japan: The Case of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises." The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice 15 (1): 1-17. doi:10.18848/2325-1166/CGP/v15i01/1-17.
  • Extent: 17 pages

Abstract

Energy conservation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in operation sectors, is increasingly important in addressing climate change in Japan. SMEs account for 99 percent in number among all industrial sectors; also around half of the operation sectors consist of SMEs in Japan. Previous research regarding energy conservation mainly focused on the barriers and the drivers of energy conversation in general, and there is little research that analyzes the diffusion mechanism of energy conservation among SMEs. This research analyzes the diffusion mechanism of energy conversation of SMEs by applying Rogers’ diffusion theory in Japan. We apply the barriers and the drivers that are discussed in previous research to Rogers’ diffusion theory. Then we interview several SMEs in Japan to clarify the stage where energy conversation is from the point of Roger’s diffusion theory, and we discuss the policy that is needed to support to accelerate the diffusion process of energy conversation among SMEs. The presented results show that while the policies for ameliorating complexity and improving trialability and observability in the persuasion stage are adequate, it is highly likely that enterprises never go beyond the knowledge stage to the persuasion stage. Thus, there is a need to supplement these support measures to move them to the persuasion stage.