Japan begins to focus more on geothermal energyMay 13, 2012
Nuclear is out and geothermal is in
As Japan finalizes its move away from nuclear power, the country has a need to fill the void left behind. The country is home to a powerful hydrogen fuel cell system, called ENE-FARM, which has proven capable of handling some of the country’s demand for electricity. Japanese officials believe that other forms of alternative energy are needed and that the country cannot rely solely on hydrogen fuel. To this end, the country has set its sights on geothermal energy.
Ring of Fire is home to vast quantities of geothermal energy
Japan is situated on the edge of the so called Ring of Fire, a region of the world that is notorious for its geological activity. Its position in this ring means that earthquakes and other geological events are common in Japan. This also means that the nation is host to a multitude of hot springs and active volcanoes. The government believes that these natural features of the land can be used to the country’s advantage.
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Geothermal has a huge potential for the country’s energy goals
Government officials estimate that there is 23.47 gigawatts of potential geothermal energy available in the country’s hot springs alone. Japan has a long history with geothermal energy, which is often used to heat homes and water. By making use of more of this energy, the government believes the gap left behind by the absence of nuclear energy can be partially filled. The logistics of utilizing this energy may be somewhat difficult as many of the country’s hot springs are located at resorts and national parks.
Japan pursuing solar and wind energy as well as hydrogen fuel
Geothermal energy is not the only form of energy that Japan is pursuing. The country is currently increasing its use of solar and wind energy. In Japan, solar energy currently only has 3.5 gigawatts of electricity potential, while wind energy boasts of only 2.5 gigawatts. Geothermal energy is by far the most promising form of alternative energy apart from hydrogen fuel that the country currently has access to.