Japan’s Wind Power Potential Still Untapped
Japan’s politics have been in turmoil since the Fukushima disaster of 2011. The hysteria over the close call at those nuclear turbines led to the nation temporarily shuttering its entire network of nuclear power plants. To the anti-nuclear crowd, this was a reason to cheer. But in the long run the results for Japan have been troubling: the surge in imported fossil fuels have spiked Japan’s carbon footprint, exposed the country to energy insecurity and have seen capital leave the country that otherwise could be invested in the nation’s renewable.
Part of the answer could be in wind power. Japan has already floated the idea of a network of floating offshore wind farms, and solar energy has accelerated. Wind is certainly not in short supply in Japan, but this source of clean energy is lagging.
To that end, General Electric (GE) has rolled out a wind turbine the company says is ripe for the Japanese market. GE insists the turbines can withstand the turbulent weather typical in Japan, including monsoon-strength winds and lightening. According to Bloomberg, the turbine can generate up to 2.85 MW of power. Multiply one of those turbines by 100, and an offshore farm could power as many as 200,000 Japanese homes. For a country more than spooked by its nuclear past and has to compensate for being resource poor, adoption of offshore wind technology could not only Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions, but allow the Japanese to keep more capital in the country.
[Image credit: Wikipedia]