Course title
Business Research on Energy Industry

takeuchi keizo
Class name
Business Research on Energy Industry
  • energy resources
  • nuclear power
  • Renewable energy
  • The shale revolution
  • energy mix
Course description
Japan, which has primarily relied on importing energy resources, is making an effort to shift toward coal, petroleum, and, in recent years, natural gas, which has less of an impact on the environment. The country is also working toward expanding the use of nuclear power. Meanwhile, despite high costs, Japan has put a variety of policies into place that encourage the use renewable energies, such as wind and solar power, positioning them as the core energies of the future. Because these renewable energies have little impact on the environment and are locally generated, they have the advantage of ensuring a national, sustainable energy source. However, the situation completely reversed due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster brought on by the 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake and its impact on the environment. At present, nearly all nuclear power plants in the country have suspended operations; the issues around resuming those operations are apparent in the policies and public positions of other countries as well.

Meanwhile abroad, advancements in underground resource mining techniques have made it possible to mine non-conventional resources, such as shale gas and shale oil and investment into the reserve life indexes and usage of fossil fuels has further expanded, with related businesses thriving.

(However, at the same time, it is a difficult climate for international consensus-building with regard to reducing CO2, as seen during the most recent COP conference, wherein leaders and delegates were tasked to solve the problem of global warming and its resulting climate change.)

Additional challenges include maintaining a firm grasp on constantly changing energy-related news reported by the mass media taxing even the most knowledgeable audiences.  

Moreover, because the price of energy usage and the way energy is used has a direct effect on a company’s competitiveness in the industrial world, energy issues are now a major management responsibility for executives.
Purpose of class
This course follows a round-table conference format in which to discuss these issues. Based on the topic for each class, the instructor will give a lecture and pose a question, after which attendees will deepen their understanding of the topic by discussing key issues and content in-depth. They will make this a future goal as they improve their skills.

There is a deep connection between the “energy industry business theory” of the second term and the “global environment business theory” of the first term. By studying these two subjects as a set, attendees can expect to gain a clearer understanding and to further improve their abilities.
Goals and objectives
  1. To have a general understanding of and be able to discuss the energy industry business.
  2. To have a general understanding of and be able to discuss energy issues in Japan and around the world.
  3. To create a set of goals and a plan of action that enables ones to contribute to business or society in an energy-related way (a final report that makes predictions about circumstances five or ten years into the future will be assigned).
  4. To understand and discuss the principles of nuclear power plants and their safety issues.
Class schedule

Class schedule HW assignments (Including preparation and review of the class.) Amount of Time Required
1. “An Introduction to the Energy Industry Business”: We will get a general feel for the basic outlook on energy related industries, and for the social climate and the problems that relate to the world of energy industry businesses. In preparation for the first class, all attendees should conduct a broad overview of the topics listed in the class schedule. 180minutes
2. “Coal/Petroleum Energy and Industry”: We will review how energy has changed since the Industrial Revolution. Read reference materials 1 and 2 180minutes
3. We will learn about the current state of coal/petroleum energy and about future trends and problems. We will consider the revitalization of the Japanese industrial complex. Same as above. 180minutes
4. “The Gas Energy Industry and the Shale Gas Revolution”: We will learn about current and future trends and related problems. We will analyze about what to pay attention to during project execution based on the experiences of business units. Read reference material 3 180minutes
5. We will examine the history of the Japanese oil refining industry. This class will discuss the move toward the “noble use” of precious fossil fuel resources and how industry and agriculture maximize energy efficiency. Read materials provided by the instructor (handouts, etc.) 180minutes
6. “Renewable Energy and the Usage of Electricity, Thermal Energy, and Power”: We will learn about current and future trends and related problems and introduce specific ideas from collaboration, and the like. Same as above. 180minutes
7. “Energy Conservation and High-level Energy Usage”: We will assess current and future trends and related problems. Read materials provided by the instructor (handouts, etc.) 180minutes
8. “Smart Society Systems and Energy”: What are the current and future trends and related problems within this context? Same as above. 180minutes
9. “A Low-carbon Society and a Hydrogen Energy Society”: We will discuss current and future trends and related problems of this innovative solution to the energy challenge. Read materials provided by the instructor (handouts, etc.) 180minutes
10. “Generating Nuclear Power – Problems and how to Address them in the Future”: We will reexamine these issues and take a look into the future. Same as above. 180minutes
11. “A Vision for Corporate Management and Energy Management”: This class will examine the subject and its related issues. Read materials provided by the instructor (handouts, etc.) 180minutes
12. General discussion of “What to Do about the Energy Mix in the Future”: We will discuss how things should function and be structured in the future, including what the best energy mix is. Read the materials provided by the instructor regarding the points covered in the general discussion for you to study. 180minutes
13. “Topic Research Presentations”: Taking Item 3 in the Goals and Objectives section above, we will discuss your specific goals, what led you to them, and your plan of action. Turn in final reports reflecting the comments you received during your presentations. Submit your report in PowerPoint. 180minutes
14. “Topic Research Presentations”: Based on the results of the previous class, you will prepare and present your specific goals, what led you to them, and your plan of action. Same as above. 180minutes
15. Course Summary: We will summarize and review the topics that arose in class discussions. Read summary material handout. 180minutes
Total. - - 2700minutes
Relationship between 'Goals and Objectives' and 'Course Outcomes'

active learning midterm final report Total.
1. 5% 5% 15% 25%
2. 5% 5% 15% 25%
3. 5% 5% 15% 25%
4. 5% 5% 15% 25%
Total. 20% 20% 60% -
Evaluation method and criteria
- 30% Based on active class participation: Did you respond often to the comments of other attendees, and did you actively state your own opinion? The significance of your participation will be evaluated.
- 40% Based on presentation: Your ability to create materials and present them will be evaluated.
- 30% Based on final report: The thought put into your report and the content of your action plan will be evaluated.
Textbooks and reference materials
Reference material 1: IEA World Energy Outlook (latest edition)
Reference material 2: Petroleum Association of Japan homepage, “The Petroleum Industry Today” (latest edition)
Reference material 3: IEA World Energy Outlook 2011 Gas Scenario

*The instructor will provide further study material when appropriate.
Have an interest in business that is directly or indirectly related to the energy industry.
Course objectives
As listed in the lecture summary.
Office hours and How to contact professors for questions
  • You may e-mail at any time.
  • You may call the instructor’s cell phone for urgent matters. (The email address and cell phone number will be provided at the start of the course.)
Relation to the environment
Environment education course (35%)
Regionally-oriented course
Development of social and professional independence
  • Course that cultivates a basic problem-solving skills
  • Course that cultivates an ability for utilizing knowledge
  • Course that cultivates a basic interpersonal skills
Active-learning course
About half of the classes are interactive
Last modified : Thu Mar 23 22:54:03 JST 2017