Video: Japan, its massive geothermal resources, and opposition to development

Screenshot of video (source: YouTube/ Vice News)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 12 Sep 2018

In this video by VICE News, it is looked at the massive geothermal resources of Japan, the opportunities it provides, but also the strong opposition by the Onsen owners of the country to development close to their operations.

This video, while from 2016, the great opportunity presented by geothermal energy in Japan is discussed but also the opposition faced by Onsen owners across the country.

The piece interviews Prof. Sachio Ehara, Chairman of the Geothermal Information Institute; Shunji Shibatani, owner of the Ohyata Onsen Myojin no Yu,; and Masao Oyama, Chairman of the Japan Spa Association (and large opponent to geothermal development).

In this balanced piece the opportunity to utilise the incredibly large geothermal resources are highlighted, while also addressing the concerns and strong opposition by the Onsen owners.

While obviously not a new concern for Japan, we have written about this a few times before, the approach of utilising small scale geothermal power units in conjunction with spa operations is something addressing those concerns, while also highlighting the opportunity of additional income for Onsen owners.