Japan’s plans to reconstruct areas affected by the tsunami with renewable energy systems and back up power supplies is “impressive”.
That’s the view of the International Energy Agency (IEA) following its visit to the country earlier this month as it marks two years since the disaster. It advised the nation in designing and developing ‘smart communities’ that use biofuels, industrial heat waste and other sustainable ways to power grids efficiently and effectively.
Two members toured the sites and recommended systems that provide clean and reliable supply whilst incorporating energy efficiency. They emphasised demand-management technologies and educating consumers to use the information provided by smart grids to make their use of energy more efficient.
The IEA said the country’s planned reconstruction sites where co-generation and solar farms are expected to provide a more sustainable energy system would “serve as an example to the rest of the world”. The town of Minami-Soma is developing a park that combines a solar power plant with a renewable energy “green academy” interactive learning centre for children whilst industrial waste energy will be reused as heat for a hospital elsewhere.
John Dulac, Energy Demand Technology Analyst and one of the members who visited Japan said: “The communities wanted our impressions and they appreciated our feedback. It was a two-fold opportunity: international comment that helps local communities and then the communities become an example to the world. It’s impressive to see the progress they’ve made on cleaning up the disaster-affected areas. Even more impressive is their ambition to build stronger, more resilient, sustainable communities for the future.”
The tour was part of Japan’s ‘New Disaster-Resilient Smart City’ initiative.