21 new plants to help transform Fukushima into a renewable energy hub
The wheels are in motion to breathe new life into the energy production of Fukushima, the Japanese prefecture that was devastated by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear meltdown. As reported by Tokyo-based newspaper Nikkei Asian Review, plans are afoot to transform the area into a renewable energy hub, with the power it generates to be fed into national grid for use in the country’s capital.
The government of Fukushima has actually been ramping up the region’s renewable energy production since the 2011 accident, which was triggered by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake that resulted in the plant being swamped by seawater and caused the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
Working towards an objective of powering the entire region with 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass combined to provide the Fukushima with almost 1.5 GWh of electricity in 2018. This was up from around 1 GWh in 2016 and around 400 MWh in 2012.
The new construction project will add 11 new solar plants and 10 wind power plants to the mix, which will be constructed on unused farmlands and hilly terrain, according to Nikkei Asian Review. With a total cost of around US$2.75 billion over the coming five years, the new plants are expected to add a further 600 MW to Fukushima’s energy output.
A new 80-km (50-mi) grid is also in the works, which will feed this power into the metropolitan area of Tokyo. The Fukishima government expects renewables to provide 13 to 14 percent of Japan's national energy mix by 2030.
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that "wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass combined to provide the Fukushima with almost 1.5 GWh of electricity" and "was up from around 1 GWh in 2016" and "400 MWh in 2012." Not "1.5 GW," "up from 1 GW" and "around 400 MW" as originally stated.