CAfS hosted a visiting Japanese professor this week, who is exploring how community-owned renewable energy could help to turn the tide on his country’s rural depopulation and ageing.

Nobutaka Matoba, a professor of policy science at Ryukoku University, met with Phil Davies, low-carbon development manager at CAfS on Monday 4 March 2019.

Professor Matoba had been signposted to CAfS by the growing trail of Japanese business and academic delegates who have recently visited us, hoping to take back information and inspiration to counteract Japan’s chronic rural depopulation and rural ageing problem.

They all hope that these trends might be reversed through the deployment of community-owned renewable energy. The professor’s specialism is local governance and sustainability, recently focusing on the regeneration of rural areas with local renewable energy in countries such as Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

His research shows that environmental and especially energy policies could have a key role in reversing the trend of economic decline by creating alternative local employment opportunities and providing a better quality of life for local people.

The meeting demonstrates just how wide CAfS’ work and reputation reaches. It provided a platform for sharing knowledge, experience and academic research, as well as underpinning an international consensus that community-owned renewable energy delivers multiple social and economic benefits beyond carbon reductions.

Professor Matoba will be sharing his research findings with CAfS. We’ll keep you posted!