Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.- Japan is one of the world’s largest developers of geothermal projects outside its territory, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said today.
According to the study, which analyses the potential for the development of geothermal energy in the country, Japan’s contributions are vital to the progress of this energy source in other nations.
In Indonesia, Japanese companies are financing and constructing the Sarulla plant, whose production once completed will be 320 megawatts (MW), the largest in the world, the report reveals.
In the same manner, the Asian nation’s companies also support the transformation of Kenya’s geothermal energy by providing turbines, supplying equipment and building megaprojects such as the 158 MW Olkaria V steam plant in Naivasha.
Despite Japan’s technical and constructive pre-eminence, and its significant energy potential, there are only about twenty geothermal plants in this nation, the study stressed.
This implies a total production capacity of about 535 MW, only 0.3 percent of the country’s total electricity generation, the research added.
The analysis also revealed that after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Japanese government introduced new policies to accelerate the deployment of geothermal energy.
An example of this is the construction of the Wasabizawa plant in Akita Prefecture, the first large-scale geothermal project in approximately 20 years.
The policies established by Japan, the study detailed, prioritized the construction of plants with a yield of less than 7.5 MW, which do not require environmental impact assessments and can be built in half the time of larger plants.
Likewise, the research concluded, there is great potential for this energy source to continue to grow in Japan considering that thousands of hot water springs surround the nation’s fields.