New guidelines easing drilling in national parks in Japan

New guidelines easing drilling in national parks in Japan Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido, Japan (Source: Flickr, CC, By: Antoine)
Francisco Rojas 4 Aug 2015

Japan releases some guidelines easing geothermal development in national parks stating that it will allow to drill on "Class 1 Special Zones" as long as developers use diagonal drilling and do not build on protected areas.

Good news for renewables from Japan where geothermal energy is going to be allowed to be tapped in national parks.

After much deliberation and considering the deep respect and concern for national parks in Japan, the government will allow “geothermal development of Class 1 Special Zones, or areas within Japanese national parks that require significant preservation efforts” according to a recent article in The Asahi Simbun. The same source details that “Special Protection Zones”, the most delicate part of national parks will not be able to be developed.

There is a “catch” to this recent change of legislation. Developers are not allowed to build or alter national parks (Class 1 Special Zones) and resources can only “be tapped through buildings constructed outside these areas. Operators will be able to drill diagonally from outside the zones to reach the geothermal reservoir” states the aforementioned source. Apart from these restrictions, the buildings outside of special areas will also be subject to strict regulation and to have minimal environmental presence.

More details will soon follow.

Source: The Asahi Simbun