Japan was going great guns on adding wind power generating facilities…until last year. The number of new facilities added in ’07 was half of what was added in ’06. New wind turbines that started operation in Japan last year had a capacity of 185Kw. It was double that in ’06.
There are reasons for the drop off:
1. Utilities in northern Japan which is best suited for wind turbines have restricted the construction of new sites
2. New earthquake-resistance standards are tougher even for planned facilities
3. The strong euro and high prices for steel materials make wind turbines much more expensive
4. activists fighting for protection of scenery in the area are preventing progress in use of wind turbines
5. activists fighting on behalf of animals in the areas are preventing progress as well
Japan has a goal of 3 million KW generated by 2010. As of 2007, the capacity was 1.67 million. The goal now seems unattainable. Some 40% of the country’s overall wind power capacity is generated in Hokkaido, Aomori, and Akita, all in northern Japan.
Question: Why can’t we all get along?