This study is intended to give an overview of new renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency efforts in Japan that followed the nationwide shutdown of nuclear power plants in 2011. To satisfy strong national demand for energy, it has been essential to substitute nuclear power with other energy resources, and also find ways to reduce energy demand that would relieve the nation from its strong reliance on fossil fuel. Discussion has been made within the academia on the important role of municipalities in this respect. Their autonomy and ability to account for their unique geographical, industrial and social characteristics in their policies enable GHG emission reductions while creating jobs and promoting economic growth. This paper looks at successful scenarios to enhance their autonomy including the role of multiple actors that would facilitate the shift to a low carbon city.