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Japan's renewable energy sector seeks carbon-neutral windfall

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By Sara HUSSEIN

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A smart technology move.

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XSOL also believes solar is uniquely suitable for Japan as a "resilient" power source on homes and businesses that can continue supply after disasters like earthquakes.

that is smart, never happen, but nice to a reasonable idea mooted

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The article states that mountains make installing wind power difficult, but mountains present a uniquely opportunistic way to harness the wind. I would suggest looking for mountains, or wind funnels, near existing power transmission corridors, so that once the wind turbines are installed, hooking up to the grid can be done without adding lengthy transmission lines. In general, mountains are not used for any farming or industrial purposes, so it shouldn't be expensive to get the rights to construct in mountainous areas.

Over here, many large retail establishments install solar panels on their roofs. Is that also done in Japan? It represents a type of "low-hanging fruit" opportunity for finding an area for installation, one that does not impact land use.

The article mentions the use of coal and natural gas in the same sentence. While natural gas is far from ideal, it is much cleaner than coal, and thus it is considered a gateway fuel toward renewables.

Sitting on the so-called "ring of fire", Japan has a large potential for geothermal energy. However, less than 0.5% of Japan's electrical production is from geothermal. Meanwhile, here in California, geothermal produces about 5.5% of our electrical needs. Japan should do no less. Not only is geothermal clean, but it alleviates the need to import coal or natural gas.

Renewable energy is not only good for the environment, but it is good for the economy. It is unfortunate that existing power companies, reliant on coal or petroleum, fight so hard to prevent the development of a technology that would put them out of business.

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A little more data about geothermal energy in California.....

If California were a nation, it would be the world's single largest producer of geothermal energy. The US is currently the world leader, but 72% of the country's geothermal is made in California. It has been estimated that geothermal energy production in the state could be quadrupled with existing technology.

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