Twenty-one new renewable energy plants will breathe new life into Fukushima’s energy production, foreign media New Atlas reported. Fukushima was devastated by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. As the Nikkei Asian Review reports, local governments are planning to turn the area into a renewable energy hub and deliver the electricity it generates to the national grid for use in the Tokyo area.
The Fukushima government has actually been increasing renewable energy production in the region since the 9.0-magnitude earthquake in 2011 triggered the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. The earthquake caused radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to leak outside, the only catastrophic consequences of the Chernobyl accident.
To meet the goal of powering the entire region with 100% renewable energy by 2040, the local government provided nearly 1.5GW of electricity to Fukushima by 2018 by combining wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass.
New construction projects will add 11 new solar power plants and 10 wind farms, which will be built on unused farmland and hills, the Nikkei Asia Review reported. The total cost of building these new plants is about $2.75 billion, and an additional 600 MW is expected to add to Fukushima’s energy output over the next five years.
In addition, a new 80-kilometer (50-mile) power grid is under construction that will deliver the power to the Tokyo metropolitan area. The Fukushima government estimates that renewable energy will account for 13 to 14 per cent of Japan’s energy mix by 2030.