11 november 2019

Fukushima to be Transformed into Renewable Energy Hub

Yale Environment 360, 11 November 2019

Eight years after an earthquake and tsunami transformed Fukushima into the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, plans are underway to turn the Japanese prefecture into a hub of renewable energy. Japanese officials announced a new $2.7 billion project that will include 11 solar plants and 10 wind farms, built on abandoned or contaminated lands, according to The Nikkei, a Japanese newspaper.

The new solar and wind projects will generate up to 600 megawatts of electricity — roughly two-thirds the output of an average nuclear power plant. Sponsors of the project include the government-owned Development Bank of Japan and Mizuho Bank. Construction is expected to be finished in March 2024.

The renewable energy project also calls for the construction of a 50-mile-wide grid in Fukushima to transmit electricity to Tokyo, 149 miles to the south. The new grid is expected to cost $266 million.

The project is part of a larger push by Fukushima to embrace renewable energy following its nuclear disaster. In 2014, the prefecture announced a goal of getting 40 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020, two-thirds by 2030, and 100 percent by 2040, The Japan Times reported.

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