Nine years ago, an earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan caused one of the most significant nuclear disasters in human history in the area around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where the resulting reactor meltdown led to the evacuation of 150,000 individuals.
Now, the local government has vowed to restructure the grid of the north western prefecture to use entirely renewable energy sources by 2040. Fukushima is the third largest administrative district in the country, and uniquely includes a variety of energy resources like prime spots for solar and wind farms, and also opportunities for geothermal power as well.
Working to achieve these ambitious goals, Fukushima Prefecture signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of renewables with the Ministry of Environment for the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia, the largest energy-producing state in Germany—and Europe as well—in August of 2017.
North-Rhine Westphalia has doubled its renewable energy infrastructure over the last 15 years—growing it to deliver 9% of total energy production.
The proposed new grid, spanning 80 kilometers, will reach the Tokyo metropolitan area and contribute 600 megawatts of electricity, replacing much of the power which, up until recently, the city had received from the pair of Fukushima atomic energy plants.
Beyond moving away from its robust infrastructure and dependence on atomic energy, Japan is also the third-largest importer of coal and natural gas, and a massive change in energy independence would help Japan reach its ambitious goals set forth in the recent UN climate change panel in Madrid last month.
The country’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, irrespective of the Fukushima Prefecture’s own energy objectives, is targeting 24% total energy from renewables nationally by 2030.
Source : GNN