Japan sees a slow shift towards more geothermal energy utilization

Alexander Richter 23 Dec 2009

Blessed with geothermal energy resources, Japan lags behind in development of its geothermal resources. While using a lot for bathing, the country doesn´t produce as much electricity from geothermal as it probably could.

Japan is a country well blessed with geothermal resources, its technology firms provide more than one third of all turbines used for geothermal power generation, but there is so far no political momentum for more geothermal development. But there are signs that a change might be in the air.

Reported here earlier there detailed plans by “Mitsubishi Materials Corp., J-Power, Nittetsu Mining Co. Ltd. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. to develop new geothermal sites. Together, Nittetsu Mining and J-Power would invest approximately 40 billion yen to build a geothermal plant in Yuzawa in Akita prefecture. The plant was expected to produce up to 60,000 kW of power and to open in 2016, the report said.”

But Japan also faces a competition between geothermal bathing and geothermal power plants, as the latter are expected to decrease the resources for those hot springs.

According to a recent paper on Japan and its geothermal energy resources, there is a shift in the national energy policy and announcements by private firms are promising.

For the full paper see link below.

Source: Paper: Japan’s Geothermal Energy