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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Wind power

There are currently 1,870 wind turbines in Japan. Almost all are coastal (shore based) and few as yet are offshore. Offshore, meaning actually rooted in the ocean bed, would offer a huge new area for future wind power development and be preferable for many coastal residents who have complained about shore based turbines. They would also be able to tap more wind power, given that the best source of wind power has actually been found to be not on land at all. Energy returns from offshore wind turbines can actually double the total energy generation from inland turbines.

Away from natural land masses that act as wind barriers, such as mountains and man made constructions the ocean offers an open field that experiences constant wind which is the best wind supply for sustained blade turn, and therefore sustainable wind power.The energy created can be easily harnessed for inland use.
There would be many more turbines produced in Japan, generating much more power if there was not so much opposition from various parties for various reasons.. Some of these anti-turbine reasons include; noise pollution, sonic wave health and hearing effects, initial expense and aesthetics. These are reasons given against, by local coastal residents and government alike. When compared to the alternative (nuclear power plants) these reasons not only seem weak but are also surmountable with offshore alternatives..

Each average sized wind turbine is capable of producing between 1.000 to 2.000 kilowatts of electricity for a total of some 2.5 million kilowatts. Therefore, just one wind turbine has the capacity to produce more power than 2 or 3 small nuclear power plants. If this was not enough justification for the expense, it has to be noted that the Japan sea coast has the exact meteorology to favor this kind of energy resource. Average wind velocity is higher than that found and harnessed at Walney Wind Farm, in the United Kingdom which is the biggest offshore wind farm in the world.

On October 22nd, NEDO presented one of the largest turbines so far in Japan. It is situated off the Chiba coast and it features 46 meter long blades and stands 40 meters above sea level and is embedded in the ocean floor 3 kilometers deep. Perhaps this is the beginning of something to hope for just as recent news finds Japan ill disposed toward joining the Unted Nations` total outlaw of nuclear weapons.