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Recent workshop highlights the prospects of utilising geothermal resources in Yuzawa City, Akita, Japan

Impressions from Yuzawa geothermal workshop, Akita/ Japan (source: JOGMEC)
Alexander Richter 23 Aug 2019

A recent geothermal workshop in Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture in Japan highlighted the prospects of utilising the geothermal resources of the region, both for power generation and direct use. Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) also awarded special certifications to three model districts for development using geothermal energy.

The Kashiwagi geothermal power plant in Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture, has been in operation since 1994. Now there has been an addition, the Yamabuchizawa Geothermal Power Plant that started operation in May this year.

Furthermore, there are areas in the city where geothermal resource surveys and environmental assessment procedures are in progress, and there are many geothermal signs pointing to geothermal direct use facilities, natural hot springs and natural fume, etc.

In a recent symposium entitled “Utilizing Geothermal Resources in the Region-Based on the Experience of Yuzawa City”, several keynote presentations like the “Model District for the Promotion of Local Industry by Utilizing Geothermal Resources” Certificate Awarding Ceremony, “Used for Geothermal Power Generation” discussed “characteristics of geothermal water”, with additional sessions introducing regional development initiatives that represent “Yuzuwa”, a hot spring company, geothermal development company, and academics. Panel discussions offered insights into effective and sustainable use of geothermal resources while gaining understanding, looking at ways to utilize geothermal resources in the region.

The symposium was attended by 465 people, including members of the National Assembly of the Parliamentary Union for Promotion of the Promotion of Geothermal Power Generation, Akita Prefectural Assembly Members, related ministries and agencies, local governments, geothermal developers, hot spring operators, students and local residents.

In addition, a “summer vacation geothermal lecture” explained geothermal energy to high school students and local residents in an easy-to-understand manner, a “geothermal exhibition” introduced geothermal regional products, etc. A “Geothermal Tour” tour additionally provied a place to learn about the region and geothermal power generation and geothermal use from various perspectives.

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), a Japanese government Independent Administrative Institution will continue to promote further understanding activities for the spread of geothermal power generation and geothermal use based on the knowledge gained at this symposium.

In an earlier release, JOGMEC also announced the that the three local governments of Morimachi, Hokkaido, Hachimantai City, Iwate Prefecture, and Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture have been certified as a “model district for industrial development”, which were awarded at the “Geothermal Symposium in Yuzawa” on August 8.

Going forward, JOGMEC will disseminate model initiatives in the model districts nationwide, and will support customers to attract customers and expand sales channels for products etc. using geothermal energy.

Source: JOGMEC release, a full report on the symposium can be found here (pdf)