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Yoko Ono says Japan should look to geothermal energy

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Gee thanks for the 2 cents Yoko... If you never met John... just sayin.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Thanks Yoko

"With a Little Help from My Friends "

Let's brainstorm this - "We Can Work It Out"

"Just imagine" a world with no nuclear plants.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/geothermal-energy

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This woman needs a break..... multiple marriages, firebombed in Tokyo, suicide attempt, placed in a mental instititute, daughter kidnapped by ex-husband, and husband assasinated.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Yet another writer/artist pompously claiming to solve an engineering problem. Let's do some simple mythbusting math:

Total electrical demand: Iceland: 9,925 GWh Japan: 1,031,000 GWh

Area of Japan: 377,923 km^2 Area of Iceland: 100,329 km^2

Iceland generates 80% of its electricity from geothermal (7940 GWh). If Japan used geothermal just as intensively as Iceland, with 3.7x the land area, Japan could generate roughly 30,000 GWh -- a modest 30% of energy demand.

But that's assuming Japan is as geologically active throughout its entire land area as Iceland, and that those resources are just as exploitable as sparsely-populated Iceland. Neither is true, so the actual possible contribution of geothermal is probably much lower.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

wow !!! If Yoko Ono said it, we should do it !!!!! We should listen to her friendly advice since she`s a true spoken leader of team ZILTCH !!!! " The artist and widow of John Lennon is in Japan for the first time since the March 11 quake "

Hmmm, how can we start this up ??? Hmmmm, who will pay for it ??? Since Yoko doesn`t live in Japan. And only visits here when it suits her ?? Hmmmmmm ????

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Saying 'lets make Japan nuclear free' is like saying 'lets not build any buildings in Japan in case they get knocked down by an earthquake'. No - let's focus on the hard job of getting the right safety standards in place, rather than knee jerk reactions that appease voters. The leaders in this country are so weak and selfish it is truely despicable, when will a real leader come through?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"a modest 30% of energy demand."

moji : 30% is not modest. And even 10-20% would be an enormous help.

And is Yoko Ono wrong simply because she's a celebrity? Japan does utilize a small amount of geothermal now, but it doesn't seem like a priority. She's right in that this is an energy source thoughout the whole country that most people only think of as a good bath.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Dear Yoko Ono and everyone who thinks that Japan can survive without nuclear generated power: How did you get to the ceremony, memorial service or protest? Just maybe on a subway, shinkansen or electric bus? Oh, you walked. Then, it is time to invest in shoe production, which has moved to China and Vietnam. Just think about how much of the Japanese economy and your survival relies on electricity. There is no way to return to the "good old days" that you long for. They are today and everyday in the rest of your life.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Thank you Yoko Ono! I think she brings up many good points on energy that Japan should consider. Just because she has "celebrity" status please do not discount her opinion especially if it has merit to it.

I rather be living next to a wind farm versus a nuclear power plant which is supposedly safe. Having a nuclear-free Japan may not become an immediate reality because some of the renewable technology is still being refined. In my humble opinion I feel working towards a nuclear-free and petro-independent Japan would be a worthy goal for the well-being of its people.

Japanese are a hardy and adaptive people. I share Madam Ono's optimism.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

mojibake is on to a good part of the problem. But, the differences are profound. Japan's seismic activity comes mostly from subjuction faults which are deeper and less predictable than the rift fault that keeps Iceland's area growing with hot spots close to the surface. Geothermal energy is also not particularly "clean" because the material being handled is full of active minerals, salts, and even radon gas.

So, it's another source of energy, but not big enough to make a serious dent in the nation's need for energy. It will also provide challenges for the engineers who enjoy that kind of work. On the other hand, the accountants will be an unhappy lot due to low profitability, if any.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And is Yoko Ono wrong simply because she's a celebrity?

Not wrong, just that many celebrities, which have zero training or expertise outside their field of celebrity (in Yoko's case was being married to Lennon), spout ideas which:

1) have almost always been thought of and discussed at length by experts in that particular field

2) never attempts to determine the cost or actual benefit of that idea compared to other ideas

3) rarely acknowledge that there are many others much more informed on the subject than they are, and act as if they are the first ones coming up with said idea

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It would be really good if Japan could work out how to use various options and come up with a country full of alternative energy solutions that work. It would be a world leader in this field if it can do this.

In the US, just like on this board, there are so many people who, because of the economic and scientific difficulties, are convinced that it can't be done. They have stopped making a real effort to overcome those difficulties.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

gaijinfo : You neglected one minor point that's been repeated constantly on this website. Whether geothermal is cost efficient or feasible might be debatable, but politics in Japan ( same case as ethanol in the US ) can sometimes trump science , cost efficiency and obviously with nuclear power, safety.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Iceland generates 80% of its electricity from geothermal (7940 GWh). If Japan used geothermal just as intensively as Iceland, with 3.7x the land area, Japan could generate roughly 30,000 GWh -- a modest 30% of energy demand.

Mojibake, considering the numbers you give, I think you mean 3%, not 30%...

(If indeed it had been 30%, it could be a simple matter of slightly more intensive exploitation, i.e. clearing a few more forests, relocating a few hundred thousand more citizens, maybe knocking down a few more mountains to make space for the geothermal power plants... having a few hundred more lethal accidents. I also find it interesting, based on these numbers, that Japan only uses slightly more than 100 times as much electricity as Iceland - but has 400 times the population!)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yoko Ono: Credibility FAIL.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

According to this article California which is roughly the same size as Japan derives 5% of it's energy from geothermal. Japan : .3 % Point three percent ! So let's hear you geothermal doubters and reflexive Yoko Ono critics rationalize that.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2010/11/japan-facing-similar-challenges-embraces-geothermal

"California has the largest capacity of geothermal energy in the United States, but only 5 percent of the state's electricity production comes from that source. Experts say the potential is even greater."

"Japan, on the other hand, has exploited even less of its potential geothermal resources. Considered to have the third (or sixth, depending on where you look) largest capacity in the world (behind the United States and Indonesia), only .03 percent of its energy comes from that source."

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I love it whan ex celebrities pop up with engineering solutions they no more clue of than reading some newspaper headlines.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yoko Ono is a spokesperson for a concern, what is wrong with that? The nuclear industry always has spokespeople who aren't always engineers, and they prove time and time again that honesty, accuracy, and concern for the well-being of local citizens are secondary to profits.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Who can forget after 3/11, on every channel in Japan nuclear experts promised that it was not a meltdown. In America, in those crucial days after 3/11, nuclear experts like Margret Harding (former GE), appeared on CNN and said that a major disaster was not going to happen . . . so are were these nuclear engineers incompetent or lying?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is good old idea. Now it is work also on Kuril islands. This is really low-cost termo energy than mazut.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't see why Yoko Ono is being criticised for suggesting geothermal power as a possible source of energy across Japan. She might not be a vulcanologist, but no doubt in her travelings she has seen geothermal power stations.

However, most volcanic activity affecting Japan is due to subducting events because the Pacific Ocean is contracting, whereas volcanoes around the Atlantic Ocean occur where the earth's crust is expanding, and therefore producing cracks through which very hot magma from the earth's core flows up. Which type of area would provide the most stable environment for geothermal power stations is an important factor to be considered. You don't want your geothermal generating plants to be continually destroyed by tectonic plate movements.

Now, I am no geologist or vulcanologist, far from it, but surely it is worth such specialists investigating the possibilities?

The only pollutant to be dealt with would be sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide, both of which are likely to be released into the atmosphere in any case. There may be some radioactive Nobel gases, which can generally be released into the atmosphere, being both rapidly diluted to extremely low concentrations and relatively rapidly disappearing altogether due to their short half lives. But, again, they are released into the atmosphere, naturally, and we don't hear complaints of excessive radiation exposure to such gases near active volcanoes. Being emitted into the atmosphere at high temperature, they rise up high into the atmosphere.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Pretty much every onsen I've been to has hot water running out of the ground and into the drain. How much of that energy is captured for anything other than hot baths? None, that I've observed - even in an onsen in Nagano in mid winter, the hot onsen water went into the drain and electricity was used to heat the rooms. You don't have to use the hot water to generate electricity - you can use it to save electricity. It's still geothermal power. Every bit of electric load you take off the grid helps just as much as generating more electricity. Geothermal doesn't have to be used on a massive scale - just putting the energy of that water to use instead of wasting it would make a significant difference, at least locally.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don't see why Yoko Ono is being criticised for suggesting geothermal power as a possible source of energy across Japan.

Neither do I. There are lots of people who share her opinion, but they don't feature on JT or on any other news forum because they don't have the status of Ono. I have no doubt that geothermal energy can be harnessed in some locations in Japan. But when en where . . . that is another story.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yoko Ono. Too little, too late. Its a travesty this loony woman should get a headline unless its just plain something for peace. As for this issue, or anything related to the tsunami, she is making a mockery of it.

No - let's focus on the hard job of getting the right safety standards in place, rather than knee jerk reactions that appease voters. The leaders in this country are so weak and selfish it is truely despicable, when will a real leader come through?

It is hard enough for people to deal appropriately with nuclear power. The weakness and selfishness of the leaders is a major reason why. Combine that with being a hot spot in the Ring of Fire, and its hopeless. Japan has just been lucky up to now really.

Of course, use of Thorium would have helped a lot. Why didn't they use it? Greed. Another reason why humans can't handle nuclear power. Japan now has problems that will last for hundreds of years. That is a heck of price to pay to play the game of trial and error to get those standards you speak of in place. A number of things could have prevented the tragedy. Instead the profit motive led to cutting corners, and it always will. It just isn't worth the risk.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Japan, on the other hand, has exploited even less of its potential geothermal resources. Considered to have the third (or sixth, depending on where you look) largest capacity in the world (behind the United States and Indonesia), only .03 percent of its energy comes from that source."

The topic has been discussed before. http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/gemba-says-japan-will-spend-a-year-drafting-new-roadmap-on-energy-policy#comment_1021841

Japan decided long ago to go the nuclear path and that's where all the subsidies went. The geothermal resources are there and can provide a good percentage of the country's energy needs if the same dedication goes into it as what went into the nuclear power generation industry.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm not a Yoko Ono fan in the least, but she makes some good points. There is no reason why Japan can't harness geothermal energy, and she made it quite clear that it would not solve ALL of Japan's energy crises. Why people feel the need to knock her down just because she is a celebrity is ridiculous, especially given the fact that most politicians in this country have ZERO qualifications before becoming politicians (they just need to be popular, be it judo wrestlers or comedians).

Now, Japan can't rely 100% on geo-thermal power, but there's no reason why they can't start relying on it to an extent.... save that it would cost the electric companies money if the nuclear reactors aren't started up again.

As for Yoko Ono a lot of the criticism of the women stems from flat out xenophobia -- which is ironic given the same people will claim Japan doesn't agree with them in some facet because they are foreigners. A LOT of people were upset when Lennon chose a Japanese women to be his bride, and clearly that still exists today. True, she would not be the name she is without Lennon's death, but she is still a person, and an artist, and has a right to express her opinion. People claim she's a 'loon' because her husband was gunned down and she's suffered from it. Wow, imagine that!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

She's partly right but geothermal isn't always reliable, nor steady either. There is an answer, and the Chinese are working rapidly to get it organized. The technology they develop will be sold back to us of course. The answer id 'green nuclear' actually more powerful than uranium and there really is such a thing as 'safe' nuclear. LFTR reactors using thorium. LFTRs can actually use waste from uranium reactors and if a tsunami had hit one, it would have just puttered out. Check TED talks with NASA physicist Kirk Sorensen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I just think it's amusing... the government for the most part, and a lot people and posters on here, whine and complain about how much Japan simply cannot survive without nuclear energy... as if the nation weren't celebrating it's 3000th anniversary every year. My gosh how they must have suffered before the US pushed nuclear energy on them!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Memorials are fine, Japan though needs more than that. "And you know that for sure".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Now invest in it, put the money where your mouth is, beatle-money!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Even the popularity of nuclear energy didn't come over night! there were sceptics prefering coal and other fossils. it involved diversion of resources to make nuclear energy what it is today. If the world comes to an agreement, channel research funds to alternative renewable sources, the latter will be even much more popular that the nuclear is now. Everything must have a start and this needs determination, goodwill and change of mindset. For now it is money first, then safety. Thats why we live with Golems such as nuclear energy!! If I was in government, all new business ventures or solutions would be complete with renewable energy source being part of the proposal.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What "art" did Ono ever do that was good enough to warrant the Hiroshima art prize? Be famous and Japanese and say "Hiroshima" enough times?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Of course she is right and those who are "shooting the messenger" remind me of the Luddites. Already 155 days has passed and where are all the new energy methods. All this wasted time. Let's start now; thermal, wind , solar, tidal and wave generation. The sooner we build the sooner we recover.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

why is this even news? if this is yoko's idea it will open up a magma fissure and sink the japanese islands for sure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"What "art" did Ono ever do that was good enough to warrant the Hiroshima art prize? Be famous and Japanese and say "Hiroshima" enough times?"

12_year : Yoko Ono was and is an established international artist going back to the 60's, a member of the "Fluxus" movement. In fact, she met John Lennon at one of her exhibitions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

mojibake

very interesting stats. But going from a single source supply to a single resource renewable isn't hot swappable so to speak so Yoko is an artist not an engineer. Many types of renewables would need to be working together plus better insulated homes and electrical usage to make up the various differences. Hydrothermal doesn't have to be deep, just enough of a temperature difference to offer air conditioning to the cities along the coast. Add Solar thermal and were not even getting into the toys of panels and shiny metals yet.

Lots is possible but no one will ever know if nothing is tried.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the_harper

agree with your post. The smaller scale is less intrusive and just as effective. There is no need to have mega projects

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Paulinusa: The "Fluxus" movement was a failed collaborative group that never amounted to anything. Ono mostly just collaborated with others. Anyone who knows the art world knows that there are a lot of bad artists out there filling galleries with inconsequential art. No institutions of any merit ever noticed Ono until she snagged her pop star. On Her Groupiness' energy plans, she's just Japanese, that's why she's regarded highly in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As for Yoko Ono a lot of the criticism of the women stems from flat out xenophobia

In my case it stems from the fact that she seems quite nuts and also the fact that she was so slow to get around to making statements about the tsunami that she should not have bothered really. She came to Japan to pick up an award, which is fine. But to then get all teary-eyed about the tsunami? Please!

Geothermal is fine, but its such a small part of the overall solution its obvious she simply does not have her priorities straight and is quite the wishful thinker.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yoko is probably thinking of making a geothermal museum in Japan.... maybe with a small Lennon display in the corner.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When will this woman and other Hollywood über-liberal types stay out of local and international politics? If you really want to contribute, do it quietly, do some serious research, know what you're talking about before taking a stand, don't just do a Janine Grarafolo or a Danny Glover and spout off as if being a celebrity know it all and your opinions have more clout or solutions over those that are coming from Scientists or Engineers. Yoko is so irrelevant, always was and always will be. The world has already seen what she did with the Beatles, let's not take her advice on a whim without researching all the facts! Yoko should just go somewhere in the corner do her abstract...whatever she does and let the pros work it out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To paulinusa, Japan is quite a bit smaller than California. It's actually just a little smaller than Montana.

And to all you critics of Yoko, yup, you're right, if geothermal cannot provide 100% of the energy, well then there's no point in even thinking about it!! Silly woman ... being famous and having broken up the Beatles proves she doesn't know anything. For sure she doesn't understand that there's good money to be made in buying and selling oil. And nuclear energy plants are like a license to print money. Who ever heard of an international steam market! Silly, silly.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And to all you critics of Yoko, yup, you're right, if geothermal cannot provide 100% of the energy, well then there's no point in even thinking about it!!

Could you tell us how much could provide? Above it was calculated to 3 percent. Yoko seems to be advocating it a little strongly. In her defense though, she also suggested wind, solar and renewables. But it seems she focused way too much on geothermal. I find wind to be more practical for Japan than any of them, at least as a primarly domestic operation. I think it could account for much more than 3 percent of demand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Potsandpans,

How much is not the point. That Japan has paid pretty close to zero attention to renewables is the point. She's using her fame to point to the onsen saying, "Say, isn't that hot water we see there just a fraction of what's down below? Shouldn't we be finding a way to use that?

Sure, maybe Japan isn't Iceland and maybe it won't be as easy as in Iceland but who knows what technology can be developed if effort is put to the problem? DIverting attention from her message to remind everyone that she (allegedly) used John to become famous and broke up the Beatles in the process. John loved her and that was his right. If Paul didn't, well, life isn't perfect, is it? It's really none of our business anyway.

Japan should look more at thermal and if Yoko uses her fame to give them a nudge in that direction, then I say good for her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With her new exhibition, “The Road of Hope”,

So Yoko Ono has traveled to Japan to sell her artwork and decided to gain attention for that sale by talking about energy. Yawn.

What is Yoko famous for? Marrying a rich guy and breaking up the Beatles. That certainly qualifys her as a geothermal or nuclear engineer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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