The Japanese government has said that the nation’s first electricity-generating wind farm to be built off the country’s coast will be ready to start in January. The government’s feed-in tariffs have just gone into effect this month, making electricity generated from renewable resources like solar and wind sold at higher prices for the next 20 years. This wind farm, along with announced plans for the construction of Japan’s largest solar panel farms, is one of the first real signs that the country is making steps to reduce its reliance on nuclear power.
While this 2.4 megawatt wind farm has been in the works for years now, it is finally coming into fruition just after Japan’s first restart of a nuclear power plant since the March 2011 crisis in Fukushima Prefecture. In addition the push for solar power, Japan hopes within several years to construct numerous offshore wind farms, learning from the U.K., which used its windy shorelines to great advantage. In May of this year, Seajacks, a British company that builds wind powered generators, was jointly purchased by six of Japan’s largest banks for roughly $252 million.
This first wind farm will be built to the east of Tokyo, off the coast of Choshi, and there are already plans to have a second wind farm, capable of producing 2 megawatts of electricity starting next May, to be built off the coast of Kitakyushu, in southwestern Japan. It’s great that Japan and its government are making such quick strides to turn towards renewable energies, something those who oppose the return to nuclear power have called for. While the worst part of Japan’s summer is starting now and expected to last a little over two months, its unfortunate that the country’s government couldn’t listen to its people’s opposition to nuclear power. As many of these upcoming solar and wind farms will be ready to generate electricity by summer next year, going a few months with strict energy conservation wouldn’t be such a difficult hardship.