Japan, moving away from nuclear, explores geothermal power plants

Posted on: April 4th, 2014
Japan, moving away from nuclear, explores geothermal power plants

Japan, moving away from nuclear, explores geothermal power plants

The installation of geothermal plants is in the works across Japan, in a move away from nuclear energy after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi crisis. April Chuo Electric Power Co. has decided to create a geothermal plant, Japan’s first since 1999, according to All About Alpha.

Reasons for shifting to geothermal abound, but most notable is the move to take advantage of natural sources in Japan to bolster energy. Prior to the 2011 power plant incident, Japan trailed only the United States and France as the world’s premier nuclear producers. Since that disaster struck, 54 nuclear power plants have been suspended. This has led to a move to other forms of energy, especially those available for extraction within Japan, according to Oil Price.com.

Safety of geothermal
“Nuclear isn’t a domestic political issue. If something goes wrong, it turns into an international issue. The potential for geothermal energy is only limited by people’s imagination,” said Stefan Larus Stefansson, Ambassador of Iceland to Japan, in a speech in Toyko, according to the United Nations University.

The ambassador’s speech fits with findings on Japan’s resources. The New York Times reported that the country is focusing on incorporating renewable energy sources (including geothermal energy) by 2030.

Geothermal and other renewable options
“Unlike solar or wind energy that can vary in output due to weather conditions, geothermal energy is pretty consistent and stable in output and has the potential to serve as a base load for energy production,” said Keiichi Sakaguchi, head of the geothermal resources research group at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, according to the Times.

Geothermal’s value for Japan derives from the potential for output and the potency of the country’s natural resources. According to a recent article in the Japan Times, investment giant Marubeni is attempting to inject a measure of vigor into the geothermal industry. This will be done by tapping into land on or adjacent to national parks that is widely held to be a boon for geothermal extraction. Japan’s move away from nuclear towards geothermal energy may be the catalyst for a country looking for a sustainable energy path.

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