News

Japan comes up with basic plan to allow development in national parks

Volcanic steam vent at Hachimantai National Park on the border of Akita and Iwate prefectures, Japan (source: flickr/ chrissam42, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 14 Feb 2012

A panel of the Ministry for the Environment in Japan releases plan to abolish a government directive restricting development in national parks under particular requirements, as part on an overall new policy on geothermal power development.

Reported this morning by national news in Japan, a panel of the Ministry for the Environment in Japan “has come up with a basic plan to conditionally allow geothermal power generation in national parks.

Japan is thought to have the world’s 3rd-largest geothermal resources thanks to its many regions of volcanic activity. But development of the resources is lagging, as 80 percent is in national parks where such development is restricted.

The plan compiled on Tuesday says a 1974 government directive restricting development in national parks should be abolished.

The plan includes a proposal that construction of wells to draw underground steam should be allowed if slanting pipes are inserted outside the parks, if such work does not affect scenery.

Based on the recommendations, the ministry plans to decide next month on a new policy on geothermal power development.”

See also a video report on the news on the website of NHK (see link below).

Source: NHK