In the recent weeks after Japan was ravaged by one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history and the tsunami that resulted, Fukushima has been used around the world as a rallying cry for those against the further development of nuclear power and in favor of renewable energy. While one energy crisis has been going on in Japan, however, there is one green energy story worth paying attention to that hasn’t gotten the same amount of press.
For some time now, many in Japan were skeptical that wind turbines and established wind farms would not be able to stand up to the effects of an earthquake when the time came. However, Yoshinori Ueda, the head of the International Committee of the Japan Wind Power Association, recently said that despite the widespread destruction caused by both the earthquake and the tsunami wind farms around Japan had suffered almost no damage. Like most structures in Japan, the wind turbines that have been built in the earthquake prone country were done so with specific attention paid to allowing them to survive such a disaster and continue operating. It is probably because of this foresight that the turbines continued to operate after the fact.
After the situation at Fukushima began, many areas in Northern Japan suffered from power outages while even Tokyo was feeling the effects and enforcing rolling blackouts to ensure the conservation of the power that was available. Since the wind farms around Japan are still in operation, many power companies have been asking those in charge to keep their turbines spinning as much as possible to provide the extra power required to keep things running throughout the country.
Since the wind turbines weathered the storm, it is possible that power companies in Japan will consider the benefits of wind power in a future despite the limited space available for extensive wind farms. Either way, it is at least nice to know that they are able to provide that extra bit a power when it is needed most.
Article by Richard Cooke, appearing courtesy Justmeans.